Maltese roads have long been a source of controversy on the island, be it because they’re in a dilapidated state or because they’re easily flooded or even just because they’re too prone to traffic.
What isn’t controversial to say is that there are way too many cars on the road which definitely doesn’t help with the traffic situation. With that being said; I’ve been driving for about 18 months now.
Here’s five things I’ve learnt;
1. Size matters.
Be it at roundabouts, giveaways or intersections, size matters. The bigger cars usually get priority while smaller cars are usually pushed aside.
It’s a stereotype that’s been overplayed yet somehow almost always takes place.
2. The driving test really is not an indication of whether or not you can drive.
Even though it’s quite broad, once you begin driving you realise how virtually no one drives like they’re supposed to.
3. Signs and general road practices are ignored.
Practically no one comes to a full stop at a stop sign, people change lanes without indicating, and roundabouts might as well be free-for-all carousels.
4. Realistically, people drive and park however they want.
It’s a common sight to see broken mirrors and total disregard for indicators. It’s probably even more common to see double-parkings, usually in front of a pastizzeria.
5. The weather can really influence your plans.
Forget that practically everything stops at the slightest trickle of rain. If you drive a small diesel car, you have to avoid Valley Road, Birkirkara and practically anywhere in Msida.
Make sure you’re aware of any speed cameras or roadworks. There aren’t many worse feelings than realising you’ve just got a speed ticket after driving through a part of the island you’re unfamiliar with.
The only worse feeling is getting stuck in traffic because of roadworks which you weren’t aware were going on.
I have to preface this by saying I live in a central area so feel free to add any region-specific driving points I could use.
Tag a new driver who needs to know this!