It's probably your biggest fear when driving in France for the first time, that you'll forget and drive on the wrong side of the road or go the wrong way round a roundabout.
Well it's not just us Brits who should worry about that the French need to be careful as well. Just recently I was reading about a French tourist driving in the UK who caused an accident by driving on the wrong (right) side of the road down a country lane in Devon.
It may seem the daftest thing but when you've been driving for years it becomes so ingrained it's easily done. I always recommend a "Drive Right" sticker for people to put on their wind-shield if driving in France for the first time. The Drive Right is, like most good ideas, amazingly simple but a great aid.
I first read about the accident involving the French tourist on the Exeter Express & Echo's website and I've reproduced the article here. The image at the top of this article is also taken from their website.
News Report Starts here;
A French tourist crashed into a baker's van on a Devon country lane after he forgot which side of the road he was meant to be driving on.
Emmanuel Lillaz had been staying in a Devon village and when he set off the next morning in his hired car he drove on the right hand side of the road instead of the left.
He did not encounter any traffic on the winding lane between Doccombe and Dunsford in the Teign Valley until he went round a blind bend and crashed head on into the van.
Lillaz suffered an injured back and broken foot and arm while delivery driver Ian Banks suffered a broken nose, four fractured ribs, and was off driving for two months.
The Frenchman apologised at the scene and later told police he had forgotten which side of the road he should have been on.
Lillaz, aged 29, admitted dangerous driving and was fined £500 and disqualified from driving for a year by Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, at Exeter Crown Court.
He told him:"You hired a car at Heathrow and drove to Devon where your vehicle was in a head-on collision on a country road where, as you told the police, you drove on the wrong side of the road, having forgotten where you should be.
"It was an act of forgetfulness that you should be on the left and you were injured yourself. Sadly, the driver of the other vehicle was also injured.
"He had to take time off work and lost money but no doubt the insurance will take care of that. To your credit, you said sorry to him at the scene and expressed your regret again when you were interviewed by police."
Mr Llewellyn Sellick, prosecuting, said Lillaz arrived in Britain and hired a car two days before the accident, which happened when after he had been staying overnight in Doccombe.
He said:"He forget he was supposed to be driving on the left and crashed into a baker's van on a blind bend. He said he was in the wrong at the scene and explained he was French.
"He apologised at the scene and told police that because he was driving in the countryside there was nothing to remind him which side of the road he should drive on."
Mr Paul Dentith, defending, said he had been in touch with Lillaz's employers in France who confirmed the driving ban would be enforced there.
He said Lillaz should be given credit for apologising straight away and admitting the offence at the earliest opportunity.
Read original News Report here.
We'd Like to Hear Your Comments
If you've ever inadvertently driven on the wrong side of the road in France, even just for a minute, please let us know through our Facebook page.
Terry Hull writes on Facebook
Saw a French lady (at least plates were French) the other day with a large sticker on her steering wheel " Keep Left " in English :)
Darren Irvine writes on Facebook
First time for me this year and I tended to be ok most of the time. Only if I ended up driving on auto pilot did I forget a couple of times although my satnag (wife) was quick to alert me...
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