Driving in Greece - How Bad is it?

Generally speaking, Greek drivers are not the best in Europe, but they are not the worst ? those people know who they are!

I have been in driving in Greece for a while now and have witnessed many examples of bad habits on the road, which have shocked my rapidly departing British sensibilities. It is not uncommon for drivers to hoot their horns at traffic lights, even when they are still on red and to fly through red lights. There is a reason of sorts for some of the occasions when the latter occurs. Traffic lights, even in the capital, are not remotely controlled at different times of the day to allow for changes in traffic flow. Therefore in rush hour, for example, there can be dozens of cars waiting to go through a traffic light, which stays green for only ten seconds or less. This results in stressed out drivers sneaking through on red because they are tired of waiting. I have also been surprised on more than one occasion when going down a one-way street, by someone coming at speed in the opposite direction towards me. I have decided that if I ever dent the front of my car, I'll head straight for the next car heading at me the wrong way up a one-way street and let the other guy's insurance company cover it. Sounds good in theory at least.

The Greeks seem to have a blatant disregard for their own safety ? drivers and pedestrians alike (watch out for Greek grannies walking down the middle of the road with their shopping). Seatbelts are rarely worn and children can often be seen jumping up and down on the back seat, as though they were playing in their rooms, or wedged between two adults on a motorbike. There is very much a "it will never happen to me" mentality, but the statistics show that unfortunately it does happen. I always wear a seatbelt, whether I am driving or I am in someone elses car. It often raises a strange look from Greek taxi drivers, as though you are somehow questioning their ability to drive.

A Few Tips

Now for some tips. The first and most important one is to just be alert. This will keep you safe on Greek roads 99.99% of the time. I realised recently that I am now no longer just looking at the car in front of me, but I am also unconsciously looking through his windshield at the car in front of him. You will soon develop quicker reactions and a sixth sense for when someone is going to do something unorthodox. Driving in the UK would probably feel positively dull now! Care needs to be taken on roundabouts, because it often seems that the rule is the person who drives most aggressively, regardless of whether they are on the roundabout or entering it, is the one who has priority.

Unlike in the UK, when another driver flashes his headlights at you, he is not letting you pass ? the opposite is true - he is warning you that he is coming. In built-up areas, go carefully through crossroads, because people do not always respect stop signs and may also have their view of you blocked by cars parked right on the street corner. In response to what I said earlier about red traffic lights, when the lights turn green do not move off without checking that there are no stragglers coming from another junction. When I first arrived in Athens, I thought that the drivers had a slow reaction time when the light turns green lights but now I think, as with driving anywhere, it is safer to take your time.

About the author: Emmanuel Mendonca is the webmaster of Greece Travel Articles - a source of interesting articles and information about visiting, living and working in Greece.

In The News:

Outdoors Digest  Sherman Denison Herald Democrat
Camping a hobby to explore as you go  Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Hummingbirds head south | Outdoors  mycouriertribune.com
Briefly | Outdoors | lmtribune.com  Lewiston Morning Tribune
Mystery solved | Outdoors | lmtribune.com  Lewiston Morning Tribune

The Great Outdoors is to be Explored and Loved in all its fullness

The thing with enjoying the great outdoors is seeing aspects... Read More

Mystic Seaport Captured ? Links to Our Past Guide, Part 3

Mystic Seaport celebrates the seafaring past of New England. Known... Read More

Mount Kenya ? Up High at God?s Mountain

Mount Kenya is Africa's second highest mountain, after Kilimanjaro. It... Read More

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Trekking Poles

How to get the most out of your trekking poles... Read More

Camping - Get Those Tents Up!

Have you ever thought you might like to try a... Read More

Dont Forget that Camping Gear Checklist Before You Leave on that Family Camping Adventure

A camping gear checklist is an important tool to help... Read More

Old Barney -- A Visit to Barnegat Light, New Jersey

Barnegat Light, NJ is the home to "Old Barney" a... Read More

A Review of Inflatable Boat Manufacturers

There are many manufacturers of inflatable boats on the market... Read More

How To Buy a Used RV - Part 2

The key to getting a good bargin, instead of a... Read More

Zambezi Sharks Under Threat at Protea Banks

Sharklife.co.za has been fighting an ongoing for the protection of... Read More

Mammoth Cave: One of the Most Beautiful in Our National Park System

Directly south of Louisville, just off Interstate 65 and not... Read More

Things to Make Your Gap Year in Africa Easy!

The kind of things you pack when you go on... Read More

Is The Workamper Lifestyle For You?

If you've been dreaming of traveling the highways in your... Read More

Visiting Whistler in Summer

It is the end of the season for the year... Read More

All the Way to Timbuctu

Yes, it's real. There is a place called Timbuktu and... Read More

The Wandle Trail - Map and Illustrated Guide

The Wandle offered wonderful trout fishing up to the latter... Read More

Catch Another Falling Star

Recently we stayed at a state campground in Michigan near... Read More

Whale Watching ? The Biggest Show on Earth

Whale watching is a spellbinding, entertaining, and thought-provoking adventure trip.... Read More

River Cruise in Bangkok ? Sightseeing on the Chao Phraya

A river cruise in Bangkok gives an insight to the... Read More

Backyard Camping Trip

Are your kids begging you to take them camping, but... Read More

The Best Backpacking Food

Maybe your favorite backpacking food is a freeze-dried turkey dinner.... Read More

How Are Minerals Formed?

HOW ARE MINERALS FORMED?MINERALS are naturally occuring, inorganic solids, with... Read More

Tom Sawyer Day - Floating Down The River

There were four of us on that first Tom Sawyer... Read More

Backcountry Safety ? An Essential 10-Point Checklist

The call of the wild can be seductive. The exquisite... Read More

Old Sturbridge Village ? Links to Our Past Guide, Part 2

Once described in a 1950 article as "The Town That... Read More