I spend a lot of time driving. Driving to get somewhere. Driving my family around. Driving to test a car. Driving.
For the most part, that happens on the roads of various Canadian provinces and American states. Occasionally, I have the opportunity to drive the roads of Europe, which highlights the differences in driving etiquette between us North Americans and those pesky Euros.
This week, I've spent a couple of days driving in Switzerland and the level of courtesy the Swiss have displayed is commendable. My experience behind the wheel reinforces that European drivers are, on average, more courteous than North Americans.
We have left-lane bandits. People who simply refuse to move over to allow a faster car to pass. In Europe, for the most part, drivers simply pull over to let you by on the motorway.
On single lane secondary roads in North America, a slower driver would never pull over to let a faster car pass. It happened to me recently in Ontario and California, spoiling what would have otherwise been pleasurable drives.
This week, however, a number Swiss drivers pulled over on some curvy mountain roads to allow me to pass and carry on with my drive. No fuss, no trouble, they simply pulled over when it was safe to do so. It was courteous and polite, and, each time with a friendly wave, I carried on to enjoy a fine automobile on some fine Swiss mountain roads.
Experiencing such polite drivers leaves me thinking about just one question—why can't we be more courteous to each other on our own North American roads?