Everybody has their stupid moments behind the wheel but some drivers do stuff that simply goes beyond imagination. And it's not only about speed. They will honk impatiently, start up fights, ignore lights and pedestrians, sway out of lain, tailgate or play chicken with donkey carts. Of course, crazy drivers are part of the fun of traveling. Just make sure you've got proper life insurance when you go to the following cities.
Nothing can prepare you for the collective mayhem going on in the streets of Mumbai. Drivers are going nuts in the snarling traffic, trying to make their way through the suffocating cloud of exhaust. Traffic rules? No, thanks. The only important thing is to dodge omnipresent children, beggars and foot sellers that slip into every available space when the traffic comes to a halt. Wanna cross the street? Do exactly as they do and pray. Hundreds of auto-rickshaws, huge tracks, bicycles, motorcycles with whole families on (including women in saris with infants in their arm) and a kind of noise that defies imagination – welcome to the streets of Mumbai.
Mumbai traffic. By HelenJr
Traveling around Cairo can really give one creeps. Driving a rental car is like getting lost in the heart of a treacherous jungle on purpose; step off the curb as a pedestrian and you're dead. The bane of the Egyptian stereotype of a freaky driver is the taxis in Cairo. They have no problems making a left hand turn from the right hand lane (and vice versa), honk like crazy, always expect you to give way to them whatever the circumstances, and basically take no notice of pedestrians, be it at zebra crossings and when the WALK light is on. Oh, and there seems to be such thing as two directions of traffic here. Why restrict yourself to three lanes if you can use the entire road...
Cairo traffic jam. By walid.hassanein
Hands down, Montreal has the most reckless drivers in all of Canada. Merging is a competition and indicators are merely ornamentation. Nobody signals their intentions, and if they do, others will go out of their way to prevent them from doing so. Tailgating and cutting in front of other vehicles is a standard driving procedure. Backing up on a major freeway? Why not? I missed my exit, right? Pedestrians? Oh boy, they can wait two seconds after the WALK light turns on. Which lane am I supposed to stay on? Well, I'll stand in the middle of the two to have enough time to decide. Oh, and you, in front of me, you better smash that gas pedal as soon as the light turned green, alright? I'm in a hurry. Impatience and a dreadfully self-centered attitude is what runs in Montreal drivers' blood.
Montreal night traffic. By Alexandre Boucher
One of the most irritating things about Moscow is not the traffic, but the arrogance of all the posh car drivers. The thing with them is that they can afford to spend $10,000 on a flashing, police-like blue light called 'migalka', which, in theory, can only be used in emergency. Yet to many of those Muscovites a traffic jams is a model case of an emergency situation, so they will ignore all the possible rules, heading down the wrong lane, rocketing through red lights, intersections, pedestrian crossings and even along sidewalks and expecting everyone to move out of their way. Isn't that pathetic?
Migalka in Moscow. By ico
If you're planning to get around Boston, you'd better stick to cabs and the subway. Driving should be avoided at all costs, and it's not only because of oppressive congestion, poor parking options and the complexity of navigation. Boston drivers are just freaking crazy. There are even manuals published that instruct visitors on how to fit in when getting around by car in the city. Pedestrians - when the light says for you to walk, do not step off the curb right away. Trust the walk light, and you're dead. As a driver be prepared for double parking, lane blocking, adventurous teenage drivers, total ignorance of road rules, abrupt swerves and left turns from the right lane, which is just a small flame in the hell of Boston driving.
Boston streets at night. By Thibauld Roland
Mexico City, Mexico
Driving around Mexico City is generally discouraged due to omnipresent jams, road structure that is difficult to follow and wild drivers who seem to have developed a system of communication obviously unknown to outsiders. If you do decide to drive, always mind the driver’s hand gestures rather than the signal lights or learn to distinguish subtle differences in car honks that may indicate, among other things: “get a move on”, “I'm about to overtake”, “get off my way”, “Just go; it's going to turn green in a second anyway”, or simply “you idiot”. Rules never seem to be obeyed, the concept of lanes is clearly obsolete, and taking a left from the right lane of an eight-lane boulevard is nothing you should be particularly surprised with.
Mexico City taxis. By ladelentes
Driving in China is a nightmare, and Shanghai seems to get almost the full blame for this reputation. The streets are flooded with bicycles, cars, trucks, mopeds and barely experienced drivers, some of whom have fake licenses anyway. Accident statistics are blood-curdling and the incidence of drunk driving staggering. Everybody here drives like a reckless teenager, bikers drive out into the oncoming traffic and headlights are hardly ever used, so you often get to play 'chicken' in the pitch dark and collisions are missed by inches. Irresponsible, incompetent, and insanely dangerous – there's not much more to say of Shanghai drivers.
Shanghai traffic. By Maciej Dakowicz
The ranking would not be complete without the drivers in Rome, the world's most dedicated honkers. To call them aggressive and adventurous would be an understatement. Be it disrespect for traffic rules, hot Italian temper or the fact that the drivers think it's a core of good manners to say ciao to every woman they pass, Rome has been cited as the most dangerous city in Europe for traffic accidents. The greatest risk is faced and caused by reckless motorcyclists who dodge in and out of lanes of traffic, often coming within a few centimeters of pedestrians. Hand waving, strings of insults and honking at someone who doesn't take off within exactly one second of the light changing is a reality of driving in the otherwise marvelous capital of Italy.
Traffic around the Colosseum. By david.bank (www.david-bank.com)
When you're silly enough to be going 120 km/h in a 100 km/h zone and cars are still whizzing past you, with drivers throwing fierce and pitiful looks at your direction as if they were expecting an elderly lady at the wheel, you're no doubt in Bucharest, Romania. In heavy traffic, lanes don't mean anything and drivers squeeze in ever available space, wildly waving their hands and swearing like troopers. And if you by any chance tread on their toes in any way, they won't hesitate to get out of the car and flare up a (word) fight. Road accidents take a considerable toll so beware.
Traffic jam in Bucharest. By [andreea]
It is almost impossible to describe the chaos and the level of rule-breaking you see in the streets of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Thousands of cars coming within inches of you, sometimes at hellbent speed, either tailgating you so close that you could not fit a needle between the bumpers or jumping in front of you without any indication. Motorcyclists maneuver in ways that you would only dare to try in a computer game and pedestrians often just leap into the street in an act of faith that the traffic will stop for them. Rules seem to be totally nonexistent, so stay alert and keep your cool as they tend to show off really awful manifestations of road rage.
Manila. By jude-->BATANGAS Lines fanatic ^_^