Sunday, October 23, 2011

Japanese Country Roads

As an American driving in rural Japan, I've had to adjust to many new rules and regulations. No turns on red lights, one-lane highways, motorbikes skirting the median line, etc. Like the idea of a "common speed" in America, Japan also has many unspoken motor quirks. I can live with most of them, but the one that causes me frustration is the one pictured above. Japanese drivers will often park in the street if they are making a short stop. The picture above is a one-lane road, meaning that I would have to drive in the opposite lane to pass this car. Not only that, but the store where I took this picture actually has a parking lot. The driver is simply too lazy to park his/her car.

It may seem like a small thing, but the fact is that this style of negligent parking comes at the expense of other drivers' safety. Last night, I was driving down a rural road with no light save my headlights. A driver had parked their car in the road, and if I hadn't been as focused as I was, there may have been an accident. To park your car in the road, for any length of time and without even using the hazard lights, is a dangerous decision that you may one day regret.

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