on the roads in Texas/the US


While riding the bike in the US, mostly Texas south of San Antonio, I noticed again and again how polite and considerate the drivers are. They give you a really wide berth when overtaking – using the second lane or that for the oncoming traffic on two-lane roads – and even stay behind you when they can’t see around a curve, e.g. All that makes for a pleasant change from German drivers.

I also noted the following when driving the car in the US: there’s no one trying to make you go faster by pulling up nearly to your rear bumper or using his horn or flashing his lights as it’s usual on German highways. Driving around is definitely more relaxed – even if there are – according to a newspaper article – increasing instances of “road rage”. And what is also different: you stay in your lane more – even if it is the left one – and you may overtake in the right lane. Turning off to the left even on a highway takes some getting used to as does pulling into the left lane when joining a highway even if cars are in the right lane.

Something that would not work in Germany, to my mind, is the 4-way-stop at a street corner: everybody stops and whoever was there first, goes first.

And something else that takes getting used to: to stop for school buses loading and unloading, even if they are on the other side of the street or highway.

But what took longest for me to get used to, and I’m not always aware of that even nowadays, is that fact that you’re not shown with any kind of traffic sign that you have the right of way when – at a crossing – the people coming from the right have a stop sign.


Something I’ve quickly got used to: using cruise control on the highways – with the speed limits and (nearly) everybody respecting them, it’s really a useful gadget, especially on long distances.


For more info about travelling in/to the US, check my website.



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