Can Reckless Driving Be Considered Useful?

by David Muir | Dec 05, 2012

As we become a more connected society via the Internet, distinctions between vastly different countries tend to evaporate more now than in yesteryear.

Once upon a time, to get a real taste of cider, you'd have to travel to Ireland or England. Today, it's a quick hop down to your local liquor store. If you wanted a fresh crepe, you'd need to be in Paris. Today, you make 'em yourself. Or if you wanted a real Mexican flauta, you needed to cross the border. Now, you need only to pop a frozen one into your microwave.

Fortunately, there are still some habits and traditions that are particular to certain countries. One of those is driving techniques and practices. For instance, Chinese drivers know it’s illegal to sound their car horns in the city of Shanghai. And how about this driving contradiction: in Beijing, a driver not only isn’t required to stop for pedestrians but may be fined for doing so. It's a good guess that pedestrians not only have the right of way, but keep a pretty clear look out for wayward vehicles.

Another way that some countries differ from others is the severity of their drunk driving laws. Some states in the USA, provinces in Canada and parts of Europe have stringent drunk-driving laws and penalties. But El Salvador must take the cake on this one. Despite not having many blood-alcohol testing devices, it's not only illegal to drive under the influence in El Salvador — but it’s punishable by the death penalty, writes Drivesteady.com on some differences in driving between certain countries.

All around the world are stories of car drivers crossing lanes indiscriminately, blowing through red lights, swerving into oncoming traffic and even crashing into collapsible safety bollards from Traffic Guard (those upright metal poles that can block a driveway from errant-driven vehicles).

In the mid-200s, the OECD conducted a study of the most dangerous countries in which to drive, and the top 10 dangerous countries are listed below. Most of the ranking is based on the ratio between driver deaths compared to overall population, and the numbers may startle you.

- Belgium - 100 deaths per year for every million inhabitants,168 deaths per year for every million vehicles
- Czech Republic - 118 deaths per year (per every 1 million persons), 235 deaths per year for every million vehicles
- United States of America - 136 deaths per year (per every 1 million persons) ,163 deaths per year for every million vehicles
- Greece - 121 deaths per year (per every 1 million persons), 226 deaths per year for every million vehicles
- Korea - 127 deaths per year (per every 1 million persons), 317 deaths per year for every million vehicles
- Hungary - 123 deaths per year (per every 1 million persons), 347 deaths per year for every million vehicles
- Turkey - 68 deaths per year (per every 1 million persons), - 594 deaths per year for every million vehicles
- Poland - 147 deaths per year (per every 1 million persons), 310 deaths per year for every million vehicles
- Slovakia - 122 deaths per year (per every 1 million persons), 426 deaths per year for every million vehicles
- Russia - 235 deaths per year (per every 1 million persons), 939 deaths per year for every million vehicles

More recently, however, are stepped-up driver education programs. Even in Eastern European countries like Russia, Czech Republic and Poland, where drivers are generally ranked poorly for adherence to driving laws and general overall safe driving, tips for better driving are popping up in fliers, pamphlets, TV commercials and more. Looking for a loan for that next car or truck purchase? Look to an online lender like OpenRoad Lending. You can find great low rate car loans for all types of credit. Not in the market to purchase today? Consider a refinance car loan where you can refinance your existing car loan and save as much as $100 per month on your car loan payments. 

Many of these are tips we've heard in more established western countries in the last couple of decades, but it's all new to these emerging economies. Tips range from 'keep a safe following distance between cars' and 'don't drink and drive', to 'don't overspeed' and 'avoid reckless driving on highways.' As these messages move more into the mainstream of society in Moscow, Prague and Warsaw, it's clear that a shift will soon start to take place to become better overall drivers.