How Well Do You Know Rules of the Road From Around the World?


By: Teresa McGlothlin

6 Min Quiz

Image: DigiPub/Moment/GettyImages

About This Quiz

Self-driving vacations can offer some of the best trips in the world! Driving in a foreign land is exciting, and you can set your trip to your very own pace. No matter where you go, you'll need to know the local rules of the road, though. Before you set off on an adventure behind the wheel, put your international driving knowledge to the test! 

When you put yourself in the driver's seat of this quiz, you'll visit more than 30 countries. From the United States to Greenland, rules of the road vary from place to place. And it goes far deeper than which side of the road you drive on! An off-road adventure in Iceland might sound like a good time, but could you end up with a hefty fine going on such an adventure? Questions like these will show how well you know your stuff!

You're sure to learn about a few local customs, and you might even save yourself a little trouble while traveling abroad. Do you know the rules of the road in other countries as well as you know your own? Do your best to navigate all the different rules of the road, and find out if you passed our test! How well do you think you'll do?

Which one of these driving laws does not exist in Ontario, Canada?

Don't feel like driving in one lane in Ontario? No problem! Within the city's jurisdiction, lane markings are merely suggestions. You are free to drive in as many of them as you would like. We don't recommend that you do it in the rest of Canada, though.


How many meters behind a disabled car must a reflective triangle be placed on the German Autobahn?

By law, German drivers must have a reflective triangle and two reflective vests in their vehicles at all times. The reflective triangle must be placed at least 100 meters behind a disabled car on normal roads and 200 meters on the Autobahn.


Which one of these odd things are French drivers required to carry in their vehicles?

In an effort to curb drinking and driving accidents, the French passed a law in 2017 that requires drivers to carry a breathalyzer. You are not required to carry one if you are just visiting, though.


What do they call speeding tickets in the United Kingdom?

While most officers and traffic cameras in the United Kingdom will cut you a little slack, going more than 2 miles per hour over the speed limit will get you in trouble. You'll have to appear in court to pay your Fixed Penalty Notice.


Is it true or false that you can turn right at all red lights in the United States?

After stopping and making sure it's OK to proceed, you can make right-hand turns at some American red lights. Check carefully because many intersections are clearly marked with signs that say "No Turn On Red."


How old do Japanese children have to be before they no longer need child safety seats?

Laws about safety seats vary around the world. In Japan, a child must remain in a child safety seat until they are over the age of 6. Seatbelts are mandatory for passengers of all ages.


Which one of these things could result in a $237 fine in Australia?

Whatever you do, don't stick your hand, your arm or your elbow out the window in Australia! Sticking a body part out of the window is reserved for those who are using manual signals.


When do Swedish drivers need to turn on their headlights?

In the United States, laws about headlights vary from state to state, and many states do not require them to be on until dusk. Sweden does things a little differently. Drivers must use their headlights, no matter what time of day they are driving.


How much can you be fined for drinking water while driving in Cyprus?

If you find yourself taking a sightseeing drive around the beautiful island of Cyprus, make sure you hydrate before you get behind the wheel. Eating or drinking anything - including water - is illegal! You can be fined $130 for your offense.


It's illegal to take a nap on the roadway in which American state?

Driving can be tiring, and you never know when the urge to take a nap might strike. If you're driving in California, try not to do so by pulling over to the side of the road to catch a few Zs. You will be fined if you do. Also, try to avoid driving while blindfolded in Alabama. Yes, this is really a law on the books in that state.


Do they drive on the right-hand side of the road or the left-hand side in Canada?

Like the United States, China and most of the rest of the world, Canadian drivers drive on the right-hand side of the road. There are about 60 countries in the world that drive on the left, but this number is changing as some countries are transitioning to driving on the right-hand side.


How long does Brazil allow visitors to drive with their foreign licenses?

While visiting Brazil, you may drive with the license issued in your own country for six months. Brazilian law used to require a Portuguese translation of your document, but it's only suggested now.


Which one of these countries has the toughest distracted driving laws?

Distracted driving is becoming a bigger problem than ever before. If you are caught playing with your phone, reading, or any other distracting thing while driving in the U.K., you can be fined over $200 and receive a huge strike on your driving record. So far, it's the toughest driving penalty in the world.


In Oman, drivers can get 10 days in jail and a $780 fine for doing what?

It's never a good idea to use your phone or any other handheld device while you're driving. In Oman, you will be given a stiff penalty for doing so. More than one offense results in the immediate revocation of your license.


What do the double yellow lines found between lanes in the U.S. mean?

Outside of freeways and highways, many roads in the United States have only two lanes. The double yellow line is used to separate lanes moving in opposite directions. If you were to see a dotted line on your side, it means you may pass on that section of the road.


Which of these documents do you need to drive while visiting Italy?

Called the IDP, many countries, including Italy, require that foreign drivers carry an International Driving Permit. You'll pay $15 for it, and you'll need to carry your original driver's license.


Mexican teenagers can drive without supervision at what age?

Much like the United States, teenagers in Mexico can drive with an adult-supervised permit starting around the age of 16. They cannot, however, drive without an adult until they are 18.


In Thailand, what shape of sign indicates a no passing zone?

As you travel throughout Thailand, you'll notice that many road signs also contain English lettering. The no passing zone sign, however, is only written in Thai. You can recognize it by its sideways triangular shape.


What is the minimum age a Bulgarian passenger must be to ride in the front seat?

Like most places in the world, Bulgaria also requires both the driver and passengers to wear seatbelts. In order to legally ride in the front seat, Bulgarian children must be at least 12 years of age or older.


Can you legally make a U-turn in India?

Drivers in India face some of the most crowded roadways in the world. While it is illegal to make a U-turn in an area marked with a sign prohibiting it, you can legally make a U-turn if there's no sign prohibiting it.


What part of your car must not have mud on it in Russia?

Winters in Russia can be quite harsh, and it can lead to messy cars. You can be fined for both driving a dirty car and for having mud on your license plates there. Make sure you keep your rental car clean!


What is the general speed limit on South African highways?

South African motor vehicle laws are very similar to most of the laws found around the world. One exception is that the average speed limit on highways and rural roadways is 75 mph. The average highest speed limit in the United States is 70 mph.


What can you find roughly every mile on some Peruvian roadways?

Driving in Peru is quite the experience! Honking is a common occurrence, streets are crowded and drivers are aggressive. In addition, the Peruvian government uses unannounced speed bumps to control traffic. You can find them in place of some stop signs and approximately every mile on the open road.


The maximum speed limit in Malta is slower than average. What is it?

Like the United Kingdom, Maltese drivers drive on the left-hand side of the road. Although roads are congested and there are no real highways on the island, driving is fairly easy there. Just remember that you can never exceed more than 50 mph!


When driving in Portugal, how do you know it's safe to pass?

Portuguese drivers are known as some of the most aggressive in the world. They are known for driving close to your bumper or passing you when they get the opportunity that's marked by a dotted white line.


Is it true or false that you have to pay driving fines on the spot in Egypt?

If you face the unfortunate circumstance of receiving a traffic fine while driving in Egypt, you'll never be asked to pay it on the spot. You must take the ticket to the nearest police station and pay for it there.


Why should you avoid driving after 6 p.m. in Kenya?

There's a perfectly logical reason why driving in Kenya is not advised after 6 p.m. Kenyan roads are notorious for car-disabling potholes, and local drivers use their bright lights to avoid them. It's nearly impossible to see potholes after 6 p.m.


What sort of driving is illegal in Iceland?

There are plenty of roads in Iceland that will give you the feeling of an off-road adventure. However, taking it upon yourself to go off-roading in unmarked places is illegal. Icelandic laws are designed with the environment in mind, and off-roading disrupts the preservation process.


Will you be able to rent a car to explore Greenland while you're there?

Greenland offers some of the rawest and most unfiltered landscapes on the planet. You cannot rent a car and drive while you're there, though. Greenland is virtually free of roadways. If you want to tour it, you'll have to hire a dog sled or a plane.


If you have a driving emergency in Costa Rica, what number do you call?

Driving in Costa Rica is very similar to driving in most parts of the world, and roadways near more urban areas are well planned out. If you decide to tackle one of the country's more challenging back roads and you need assistance getting unstuck, you should call 911.


What should you do before you pass another vehicle in Jamaica?

It's not really a rule, but it is a Jamaican custom to honk your horn before you begin to overtake another driver. The audible alert lets both the driver you are passing and oncoming traffic to expect your move.


While parking in Sicily, which color indicates a free parking space?

If you've rented a car for the Sicilian road trip of your dreams, be aware of the parking system there. White parking spaces are free spaces, but yellow spaces are reserved. You are welcome to use blue parking spaces, but you'll need to pay for them with a phone app or a ticket.


If you're busted for speeding in Luxembourg, do you need to pay the fine on the spot?

Unlike Egypt where you head to the nearest police station to pay your fine, you must pay them on the spot in Luxembourg. Either don't break the law or make sure you have up to 140 euros on hand!


What must you have to legally drive a rental car in Bermuda?

Bermuda has a very stern stance on letting foreign drivers behind the wheel — it's not allowed at all! Visitors to the island are welcome to rent a scooter, but they are not permitted to drive a rental car or a operate a loaner vehicle.


Where can you expect to find street signs in Cuba?

It might take your brain a few trips to adjust to the way Cuban road signs are displayed. Instead of being on or near the roadway, many of them are attached to the side of buildings. You'll have to look carefully! Many of them have been covered with paint or graffiti.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!