Driving in France

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Post by Ben82 »

addo wrote:I watched this video, albeit with no sound:

Is the traffic depicted, comparatively light, normal or heavy compared to what others have experienced? It appears very similar in denseness to some of the major routes in Sydney and Melbourne, but less aggression is displayed by drivers as shown in the video here.
Bearing in mind I haven't driven in France for just over 5 years, but I would say that's light to average, I have been in far worse, but have also been in better... Generally even if the traffic seems heavy it's usually moving on at a good pace. We always allowed for extra time for Paris, but have only needed that buffer once when there was multiple accidents.

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Re: Driving in France

Post by handyman »

Yes, I can concur with Ben, that the traffic is very light, obviously the video was not taken in the morning or evening rush hours nor on a Sunday afternoon. The last time I used the Peripherique was on a Sunday and I witnessed three accidents in the space of an hour, two motorcycle incidents, one of which was fatal and another with a car on its roof.

Other interesting driving locations in Paris has to be La Place de Concorde and the Champs Elysee, especially with all the pave (cobbles).

During high traffic volumes, tailgating is the norm, not using indicators for lane changing is de rigeur, any small gap is fair game and all at insane speeds of 50mph plus. That does not include all the bikers weaving in the traffic at the same time. Insanity! :taz: :taz:

Paris is not the worst city for driving, from my own experience, Rome, Marrakesh and Cairo are considerably worse as they all have a mixture of speed and close proximity. Safety margins are therefore negligeable. :shock:


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Post by VertVega »

addo wrote:... Is the traffic depicted, comparatively light, normal or heavy compared to what others have experienced?...
That's a light and lucky traffic for the Peripherique. Evening rush hours should be avoided driving there and gets even worse with the rainy weather. Otherwise traffic in France is not at all difficult. It would be good to know some French words, at least words related to traffic, road signs. I have driven in Moscow and That IS Difficult!

Paris traffic is challenging if you drive in down town like Champs-Elysées, Boulevard Haussmann, Place de Clichy or try to drive up to Sacré Coeur :mrgreen: I have driven several times in Paris (rental car) and each time I thought myself that I would never like to drive with my own car here. Too many cars with smashed in doors, bumpers. In my opinion the most difficult and crazy traffic is around The Arc de Triomphe. In the round about there are 6 lanes, and cars are entering the circle from 12 different streets :roll: :lol:

Driving a lap of the Arc de Triomphe roundabout in Paris! (English spoken):

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Re: Driving in France

Post by old'uns »

well I'd hope the OP doesn't get to 'that' Peripheque [-o< well lost and 'off-piste'
the Outer one is usually not too bad the times i've been through but can change instantly hence why i avoid it now.
Usually caused by the usual French habit of leaving it to the last 50m to get in the 5ft gap you've left to the car in front to exit the Ringroad #-o

Bikers are exempt from this and weaving through traffic. why?.......

.....because they put their Hazard lights on.... :lol:

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Post by addo »

That video of the Arc de Triomphe is awesome! :mrgreen: I, too, would not want to drive it in other than a rental car.

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Re: Driving in France

Post by handyman »

A light tank or armoured car is the ideal transport around the Arc de Triomphe. One of them there Panhard jobbies, with extra wheels in the middle to roll over unexpected bumps. (Small cars and bikers on those noddy bikes) :-D :-D :-D