Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dangers of the Road

Jetlag, driving on the left and a manual transmission are a dangerous combo.

Less than five minutes since I’ve left the rental car office in Manchester, England, and I’ve already by-passed my turn (should have sprung for the GPS rental at $8 per day) and missed a Land Rover by mere inches.

As a South Floridian, I figure I should be able to handle the road conditions anywhere. And I can. I can drive a stick (I do at home). I’ve driven in Britain plenty of times before. Driving alone – no problem: did it for 28 days, 4997 miles this time last year as I traversed the U.S. from Miami to Seattle.

But jetlagged, by myself, on the wrong side of the road? Bad idea.

In fact, automobile accidents are the No. 2 cause of death for American traveling abroad, right behind heart attacks, according to a presentation I heard last spring. Next time, I'll bring my chauffeur.

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