What Side of the Road Do They Drive in South Africa?
When traveling to a foreign country, one of the most important things to consider is which side of the road they drive on. It may seem like a trivial detail, but driving on the wrong side of the road can lead to accidents and confusion. For those planning a trip to South Africa, it is essential to know that they drive on the left side of the road. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this choice and provide answers to seven frequently asked questions related to driving in South Africa.
Driving on the left side of the road is a common practice in South Africa, as it is in many other countries around the world. The origin of this driving convention can be traced back to the days of horse-drawn carriages. Most horse riders are right-handed, so they preferred to mount their horses from the left side of the road. This led to a natural flow of traffic on the left side of the road, which eventually became the norm.
Now, let’s address some of the most commonly asked questions about driving in South Africa:
FAQ 1: Do I need an international driver’s license to drive in South Africa?
Answer: If you have a valid driver’s license from your home country, you can use it in South Africa for up to six months. However, it is recommended to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) to ensure smooth interactions with local authorities.
FAQ 2: Are there any age restrictions for driving in South Africa?
Answer: The minimum age to drive in South Africa is 18 years old. Some car rental companies may require drivers to be at least 21 years old.
FAQ 3: Are the road signs in South Africa easy to understand?
Answer: South Africa uses international road signs, which are generally easy to understand. However, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the common signs and symbols before your trip.
FAQ 4: Can I use my cell phone while driving in South Africa?
Answer: It is illegal to use a handheld mobile device while driving in South Africa. However, you can use a hands-free system or Bluetooth device to make calls.
FAQ 5: What are the speed limits in South Africa?
Answer: The speed limit in urban areas is usually 60 km/h (37 mph), while on highways, it is 120 km/h (74 mph). However, always pay attention to the posted signs, as speed limits may vary.
FAQ 6: Are there any toll roads in South Africa?
Answer: Yes, there are toll roads in South Africa. You will need to pay a fee to use these roads, and the amount varies depending on the distance traveled.
FAQ 7: What should I do in case of an emergency on the road?
Answer: In case of an emergency, call the emergency services at 10111. If you have car trouble, contact your rental company’s emergency hotline for assistance.
In conclusion, when driving in South Africa, it is crucial to remember that they drive on the left side of the road. Understanding and adhering to the local driving rules and regulations will ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. Remember to obtain any necessary permits or licenses, familiarize yourself with road signs, and follow speed limits and other traffic laws. With proper preparation, you can confidently navigate the roads of South Africa and make the most of your trip.