As we go about our daily lives, we often forget that some of the most common rules we abide by can be very different in other places around the world. This is definitely the case when it comes to driving on the road. Most of the time, you might think driving is a pretty universal experience, right? Well, that’s not always the case. If you ever find yourself hitting the road in a foreign country, you may be surprised to learn about some of the pretty bizarre driving rules that exist there. In fact, these strange laws and regulations might challenge your entire understanding of what it means to be a “good driver”. Down below are five of the world’s weirdest driving rules that will definitely leave you scratching your head.
1. Splash and Dash - A Japanese Crime
If you live in a particularly rainy part of the world, you’re probably no stranger to driving down flooded streets or exceptionally large puddles. But if you’re the kind of person who enjoys making big splashes as you speed down the road, you definitely want to avoid doing that in Japan.
In Japan, it’s not just considered impolite to splash a pedestrian with puddle water, it’s actually illegal. That’s right, if you’re driving in this beautiful country and it happens to be a rainy day, you better take extra care to avoid those puddles. Because unless you want to get slapped with a hefty fine, you can’t get even a SINGLE droplet on an innocent pedestrian!
2. Don’t Drink and Drive - But Also, Don’t Eat in Cyprus
Drinking and driving is a universal no-no when it comes to road regulations, but in Cyprus, they take distracted driving to a whole new level. Here, not only is it against the law to have an alcoholic drink before driving, but it’s also illegal to eat or drink anything behind the wheel. Yes, you read that correctly. No more sipping on coffee or munching on a burger when it comes to driving in Cyprus. All of your focus needs to be directly on the road in front of you. So if you need a quick pick-me-up in the morning, you better finish that coffee before you’re out the door.
3. A Clean Car Please - An Absolute Must in Russia
If you’re planning to take a spin in Russia, it’s time to pull out the soap and rags. As weird as this may seem, it’s actually illegal to drive a dirty car in this country. While you may be able to procrastinate washing your car wherever you are in the world, this is certainly one task you don’t want to forget here in Russia.
And the reasoning? The lawmakers believe that dirt and grime on your vehicle can obscure license plates and other vital information. Of course, trying to define “dirty” can be pretty subjective, so it’s probably best to stay on the safe side and keep that car squeaky clean. Besides, who doesn’t love making their car look brand new?
4. No Shirt, No Drive - Thailand’s Strict Clothing Rules
If you’re stuck in the sizzling heart of Thailand, chances are you want to strip down a little bit. But stop! If you’re behind the wheel, you better make sure you’ve got at least a shirt on. You may be shocked to learn that Thailand has quite a unique driving law: driving shirtless is absolutely not allowed. Whether you’re cruising in a convertible, riding on a bike, or speeding on a motorcycle, you better be careful to follow this rule, or else you’ll definitely be stopped by an unwanted visitor.
5. Fuel Up or Face Fines - The No Stopping Rule in Germany
If you’re planning to hit the world-renowned Autobahn in Germany, make sure you’ve filled up your tank first. Because driving down this highway has one rule you may never have heard of before. It’s illegal to run out of fuel.
Now this rule isn’t put into place because the Germans want you to move at lightning speed; rather, they believe that avoiding any chance of stoppage is key to ensuring a safe flow of traffic, especially on these high-speed roads. So if you’re planning on putting the pedal to the metal down the Autobahn, make sure your tank is as ready for the journey as you are!
The next time you plan a trip abroad, it might be a good idea to research the country’s driving rules. Because after reading these quirky driving laws, you definitely don’t want there to be any surprises as you enjoy your relaxing vacation. This just goes to show you how different other places around the world can be!