Chilean Road Rules

My recent trip to Chile informed me of the international driving rules:-

  • Safety is important, so when driving it has been shown having your headlights on during the day reduces the risk of accident. So therefore having high beam on is twice as safe.
  • Speed limits are an important part of driving safely. It has been shown that driving 5km/h below the posted speed reduces fatalities by up to 35%.  Therefore, driving 40km/h over adds 4 times more safety.
  • Lane markings are more of a guide than a necessity. If you are going too fast around a corner to keep within your own lane, then it is perfectly acceptable to cross over to the other side to maintain speed.
  • If the turning lane queue is longer than you would like, it is accepted you will just drive up along side it in the non-turning lane and merge gently into the moving tragic with your horn applied.
  • Roadworks. This is an added bonus of driving in Chilean roads for added obstacles to avoid to relieve the boredom of your daily commute. They are designated by signs that look similar to speed signs, but their actual purpose is to define how many seconds it should take a proficient driver to navigate the course. Top speed has not been capped.
  • Overtaking. Dashed line- as you are probably only going less than 50% over the speed limit just make sure you can make the passengers in the back seat skip a heartbeat with your awesome high speed maneuvers around the slower semitrailer in front.
  • Solid while line- as it is a solid white line the chances are that it’s on a curve, and to maintain your current speed, you are required to drive over it anyway. So when you approach a slower vehicle you wish to overtake, you already have a better vantage point to see ahead and road position nearly to the other side of the road anyway to get around. Evidence of this manoeuvre is usually brown stains in the back seat.
  • Seat belts are mandatory. All taxis have them. All cars have them. Apparently having them able to buckle up is optional.
  • Airbags. The red light on the dash showing an airbag warning indicates you won’t be hurt by the impact of it in an accident. I hear this is desirable when overtaking.
  • Towing. First you need an old Toyota wagon with no bonnet, front bumper, lights or grille to tow a Mitsubishi Sigma that has 2 flat tyres on the back that are shedding rubber and running in the steel rims, enabled the back end of the vehicle to fishtail over 3 lanes in total. To make this safe, a support vehicle is required to follow behind to limit he amount of rubber hitting other vehicles. Full speed of traffic flow must be maintained.
  • Indicators. Optional. Also can be left on for no reason at all. No standing zones. Hazard lights bypass this rule.
  • Traffic congestion. Attach some blue/red emergency lights to your vehicle and you too can bypass traffic as well as the professionals. No one likes their Uber Eats meal cold.
  • Fallen power lines. Drive over them. If they get snagged in your vehicle, keep driving till they detach or snap.
  • Merging. There is a defined priority order. Trucks, 4WDs, old bombs, newer bombs, new cars, new Mercedes. There is one that has been excluded from his list which is the kamikaze driver, who can drive any car as it is probably stolen. 

By David Dobson

I try not to let my age dictate how old I act

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