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Are drivers in third world countries better

A young couple recently migrated to Australia near where I live. He must have some skill that is short here. Anyway, he was only here a few weeks and had a car accident which was his fault.

We have all seen the drivers in third world countries, particularly the Philippines where this couple were from. My first trip there I spent literally laughing out loud at the driving. There doesn't seem to be any road rules or at least non that are enforced. When you have 8 lanes all converging on an intersection and all trying to get through first it is quite a site to see. If your car is a paint thickness in front of the next one then you go first and inch your way across.

The Filipino is very alert when driving. He has to be because the car on either side of him and the one behind and in front can do something erratic at ant minute and cut him off. This means he has very advanced driving skills and defensive driving skills.

The western driver on the other hand is quite laid back about his driving and is easily distracted, His attitude seems to be , if you come into my lane by a foot I will run into you and because I am in the right I will collect the insurance.

Our Filipino driver may have been in the wrong but would the accident have happened in the Philippines.
The question is ill-formed and cannot, therefore, be answered sensibly.
'Better' in what sense? Driving in one environment with one metric for good/bad is not comparable with driving in a different environment with a different metric. If the metric is simply surviving the trip then good driving is somewhat different than where the metric is somewhat more complex - such as comfortably completing the journey with a minimum of incident/inconvenience to all. Or, if our metric becomes completing the journey in the minimum time, then once again our judgement of good/bad will necessarily change.
I am reminded of an anecdote from Top Gear where Sanjeev Baskhar relates a story of driving in India. It is midnight but the driver has his lights switched off, to save on bulbs. When asked if he is not worried about crashing and dying he gives a typically fatalistic answer - if it is my day to die then so be it. The questioner continues but what about other driver? to which the response is 'well, if it is his day to die.....'
I actually have thought about this a lot while travelling in other places in the world. I've been impressed by people driving on really bad bush roads in Africa where you can easily get stuck, hit rocks, etc. Apparently, people from the mid-western area of the U.S. are impressed by drivers in Los Angeles. I have family in this part of the U.S. (which has wide open roads with little to no traffic) who absolutely cannot drive in Southern California because of the traffic, the insanely aggressive (what they call "rude") drivers, etc. And believe me, us Los Angeleans (actually, everyone from So.Cal.) get pissed off at all of the tourists that don't know how to drive by our standards. Having some of the worst traffic in the country, you have to drive aggressively here if ever plan on getting anywhere and people who dilly-dally instead of moving really piss us off. This has to do with what Bikerman was talking about. What metric are you using to define "good driver?" Yeah, I'm a skilled driver; but I am aggressive.

The bigger question, though, is what does this have to do with philosophy or religion?
Traffic in third world countries is in fact fascinating to westerners as rules are completely different. And I think I understand what you mean by "better": being more alert to what happens around you, having an exact feeling for the size of your car and whether it could fit in the gap between those two other cars in front of you. And you are right: the attention to those aspects is certainly higher.

On the other hand, as you point out yourself, once you are ahead of others you don't care much about what happens behind you. So the focus is only on what comes ahead of you, not behind you. That is entirely different for example on a German motorway where you can go at 200 km/h. If you do not look into the mirror you might not notice that there is another car wanting to overtake you at 220 km/h. I think that sort of driving requires a high level of alertness and attention, too. And my guess would be that your Filipino driver would not feel too comfortable in such a traffic situation.

So: yes, it is amazing how skillful Filipinos drive. But with some practice you can get used to that sort of traffic as well. I did when I was in Vietnam on a motorbike during rush hour. There were zillions of motorbikes around me, and it was quite an experience. So: happy learning!
Topic moved to general chat
I think that there are good drivers and there are bad drivers.

But generally speaking, I see drivers from third world countries driving up roads that are impossible to drive. I can only imagine how a driver from countries with better roads and rules would struggle to drive in a puddle filled road in a third world nation with other drivers that seem to follow little or no road rules.

But it works the same other way around as well. A driver from a developing nation is not used to strictly following rules. So, if the same driver moves to a country with strict rules, he or she would face a lot of fines. Plus the same driver would require some time to adjust to the high speed possibilities of the comparatively bigger and smoother roads in developed countries.
This isn't general chat but more of a philosophic kind I think. We got the tv show called Swedens worst driver... So they are everywhere.
No mater what country you're in I feel that you have bad drivers and good drivers. I think some third world countries drivers are just nuts. And I'm sure if you look at it they probably have a lot more accidents because of it.
Definitely not. Even though they might be better regarding driving skills, they violate traffic rules a lot and that is why so many people die on traffic accidents each year on 3rd world, compared to developed countries. Wink
Well I think by in large traffic laws are only traffic laws if they are enforced. You can make something a law but if it is enforced than it won't be followed and is fundamentally not truly a law.

I had my first experience with a county with insane drivers, I went to Sri Lanka for my honeymoon and it was crazy. Motorbikes, tuk-tuks and cars swerving and flying everywhere, with little to no courtesy to anyone else, particularly pedestrians. The basic rule of the road was whom ever is biggest has the right of way. Drivers there were certainly more aware of their surroundings and were extremely aggressive, does this make them better or worse drivers is hard to say.

I guess if you compare them with some ditsy girl applying makeup, talking on the phone, and driving at the same time than yes I would say they were far better drivers but by in large probably not so much.
I really doubt it. I've seen videos of people driving in India and China and they are really erratic and do not follow laws at all. I think it really depends on the individual who is doing the driving. There are bad drivers and good drivers everywhere. I think the laws are definitely more lax in third world countries because they have a lot of other things to worry about, but I think that they are definitely not better than us in terms of driving. I think you may have seen an anomoly.
i think its worst.. lol

I live in third world countries and i can say some are good driver and most are bad driver. this is because due to congested road and everyone is in a hurry.

In conclusion, this is due to politics and corruption.
It depends. I am in India and I have had many drivers over the years as I cannot drive. It has been a mixed affair. Some have been hard-working but at the same time cheated me financially in the name of car spares and repairs.

A few became very close and I considered then as family members but they sooner or later showed their true colours!
Probably better off road and worse in traffic. We must be counterwise, bad off road .
If the number of cars are more than the road can handle, there will be irregularities in driving. I have been in the capital of Bangladesh ( Dhaka) recently where it took almost 3 hours to cross one KM. Drivers are extremely skilled in short timing and turns. However, since the sprinters and marathon runners are two different categories, so these drivers may feel uncomfortable in a high speed low traffic road or at curvious mountain road. The person must be given sufficient time to adopt new situation.
bukaida wrote:
I have been in the capital of Bangladesh ( Dhaka) recently where it took almost 3 hours to cross one KM.
I take my hat off for any one driving in either Bangladesh, Pakistan, India or Sri Lanka. The roads are so narrow, with barely a few inches between cars coming from opposite directions.
deanhills wrote:
bukaida wrote:
I have been in the capital of Bangladesh ( Dhaka) recently where it took almost 3 hours to cross one KM.
I take my hat off for any one driving in either Bangladesh, Pakistan, India or Sri Lanka. The roads are so narrow, with barely a few inches between cars coming from opposite directions.

That's right Dean. Although traffic in Kolkata, India is horrible during office time, it is no where comparable to the busy traffic of Dhaka. I will never dare to drive there even in my wildest dream.
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