Has this ever happened to you? 65

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A man has died in Victoria after driving 12 kilometres on the wrong side of the Princes Freeway in Melbourne and, while details are yet to emerge about the horrific crash, we were particularly stunned to hear the news because it’s the second time we’ve heard this story in a very short time.

Just last week, the husband of one of Starts at 60’s writers was left shaken and thanking his lucky stars after his cab driver pulled onto a major road on the wrong side and started driving towards oncoming traffic.

The passenger screamed and shook the driver who immediately pulled over. The cabbie was equally shocked. He could not explain what happened, and said he simply blanked out and was driving on autopilot. Although clearly the autopilot was on the wrong mode.

In this case, the cab, driver and passengers pulled onto the hard shoulder and waited for the police to come get them. (The cabbie was breathalysed and examined but given the all-clear on those fronts.)

If you’ve ever driven along the Great Ocean Road, you may have seen the frequent signs reminding foreign tourists to drive on the left. While it’s understandable that someone could pull onto a one-lane highway and get momentarily confused about which side to be on, it’s harder to explain how someone could pull onto the wrong side of the a freeway or multiple-lane route, especially in a built up area.

But clearly, it happens.

What we’re wondering today is, has this ever happened to you? Have you been the passenger in a vehicle heading the wrong way? Have you ever driven onto the wrong side of the road? And if so, what did you do?

Let’s talk: Have you ever accidentally driven on the wrong side of the road? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Yes, I once drove out of a bar in California and drove on the wrong side for about 300 metres , till someone flashed their lights

  2. Had a similar situation long ago on the Burwood hway someone doing same thing the quick thinking of our driver saved us from certain death!!!

  3. Yes coming home from Canberra one night, a truck coming toward us, we moved from one lane to theinside one, he did too, we moved into side lane, he moved too, thought we would have drive up the side of the cutting , when he finally came to a stop, almost touching the nose of our car!! Phew.

  4. The cars in the picture are on the right sides?

    2 REPLY
    • I think the subject is the road sign in that photo – not the cars. I haven’t seen such a sign round here.

    • Oh I think you are probably right. The subject was cars driving on the wrong side, and I assumed wrongly. I am dumb!!!! The sign I have seen on our travels a few times. It is where the could be tourists from overseas driving on the roads. I have a feeling I may have seen them on The Great Ocean Road.

  5. Never, in over 40 years of driving. It’s not rocket science.
    It would be interesting to know whether the cabbie mentioned in your article was able to retain his public vehicle licence.
    Several fatalities have happened in Tasmania due to someone driving on the wrong side of the road. One of the most controversial examples of this occurred a couple of years ago, when a car driven by a senior legal officer collided with a car driven by a young lady, whilst it was being driven on the wrong side. The young lady was killed instantly.
    I notice that some European roads have occasional circular road signs not unlike the one in your photograph.
    A vehicle icon on the left is red, with a vehicle on the right, black, and there’s a broken line between the two. I presume this is to convey a warning to visiting drivers to drive on the right.

  6. Had a taxi driver drive on wrong side. Maybe if people drive on other side back home they should have the same apply as do our learner drivers.

  7. I found driving in Europe in an English car could sometimes be a bit dicey, it was very easy to wander across to the familiar side, as long as there wasn’t too much traffic about! But hire a continental car, and everything thing was OK – the fact I was on the other side of the vehicle helped to remind me where I was. Luckily, the first above only happened once to me, and I was fortunate to realise before I hit anything. I quickly learned to be VERY careful when driving abroad!

  8. In 1988 over a new section of the A1 where road went from double lanes each way to single lane each way. I twigged when I saw the double paint on my left – should have been on my right. Quick move over that double line and continue on.

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