America...

Soldato
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Well I went over to the USA a couple of weeks back, and returned yesterday. Here are my insights, and people are more than welcome to add their oppinions on anything..

I have a few things that I see are different, and im not sure on one or two if they are superior to us or much much worse... but here goes..

Sign/Light Layout :- Worse, much worse.. So we got there, 9:30 at night, and we didnt get though arrivals till 10:30 ish, so my dad was tearing his hair out that we wernt gonna make the hire company.. but with 15 mins to spare we pick up our Chevy Trailblazer and we're on our way.

Now, were okay down the 417 toll heading toward the 192 Highway, no problems, untill we actually hit the 192. Now it tells us to head toward Kissimme and keep going till you hit Formosa Gardens on the left hand side... and us not knowing the area, we worked out because of the lack of sign posting, we drove past the place 3 or 5 times before we finally worked out where it was.

Now happy as we are, we toddle and follow the lame instructions the Villa people gave us, and after again missing a few signs as they were either really vague or just not there, we got onto the 27 and followed it up to the villa, which was actually sign posted, so we had no problems the rest of that night.

Next morning we decide that we want to go to a water park for the day and as we drew straws on who gets to pick, I got choice so I said I wanna go to Blizzard beach as it had a nice 300ft drop slide (50mph bare-back for the win)

Now we knew that the Disney complex was off the I-4 somewhere so we get going and my dad says, heres the exit for Disney.. and we go off and suddenly, we find ourselves back on the Interstate.. going to wrong way! woot so we do the same, and come about and tried again... tried the next one along and this time we ended up somewhere else... so after doing that twice we tried the 3rd and final part of the exit and eventually, we got there.

Now the point I make is that they are so vague, and so late, that half the time you either miss the junction or end up going the wrong way, you really have to know your way round there, otherwise you were screwed!

Next thing.. Cars (Or lack of there-in) and their size

Another thing you notice about America as you go around is the size of the motors over there, you saw cars, but all of them at a minimum of a 2.5, one I saw with a 3.5 Litre Engine too, and the SUVs and pickups Started at 4.5 and ended at a whopping 6 Litres now I suppose as this is because the fuel prices are extremley low there, $2.63 over there PER GALLON, where as if you were in the UK that would nearlly £1.50 ish if we were at the same exchange rate as GBP to USD. But that price was ridiculous, as well as the size of their engines...

Trucks (Or Lorries)

Now this struck my as dangerous, as all UK lories are restricted to around 56mph (Correct me if I am wrong) and as you were going along happy on the Interstate, suddenly out of no where, whilst doing about 70, suddenly you would see this massive long Lorry, im talking massive, trailers are a lot longer than ours, and you can see the difference, and these lorries must be doing at least 80 - 85 mph... This i think is very dangerous, as if they need to come to a quick stop, and they loose control, its only going to go one way at those sorts of speeds.

Indicators (Or Flickers lol..)

One thing that sometimes got confusing, and at first I thought.. hmm why are the LEDs Red over here instead of Orange, although some DID have Orange indicators, it got a bit confusing at times to my dad for some reason..

And one thing I loved seeing over there was, and this is something that would interest Gibbo. Mustangs, and lots of them... ranging from the old and newer Ford ranges, to the Saleen ones like Gibbos, it was fantastic. The noise they made as they pulled was beautifull. One car I did see which was a Mustang varient was a Shelby Mustang.. if anyone can clear that one up lol, they're welcome to.

Now I enjoyed my experiences over in America, and my dad let me have a go at driving, and before I went on Holiday I hated auto transmissions, and I came away hating it even more... simply as its just an accelorator and a brake, and I like to feel my car for some reason, it took all feeling of driving from me. And I hated it.

So please folks, and anyone whos been to Florida or any part of America, please add your thoughts and oppinions!
 
Caporegime
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On the road....
West said:
Trucks (Or Lorries)

Now this struck my as dangerous, as all UK lories are restricted to around 56mph (Correct me if I am wrong) and as you were going along happy on the Interstate, suddenly out of no where, whilst doing about 70, suddenly you would see this massive long Lorry, im talking massive, trailers are a lot longer than ours, and you can see the difference, and these lorries must be doing at least 80 - 85 mph... This i think is very dangerous, as if they need to come to a quick stop, and they loose control, its only going to go one way at those sorts of speeds.

Indeed U.K. trucks are limited to 56MPH (legal max is 60MPH) stopping distances are massive in a U.K. spec 44tonner, so I'd shudder to think what a Yank rig would do in a full stop situation!

Scary!
 
Soldato
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R124/LA420 said:
Indeed U.K. trucks are limited to 56MPH (legal max is 60MPH) stopping distances are massive in a U.K. spec 44tonner, so I'd shudder to think what a Yank rig would do in a full stop situation!

Scary!

For a 40 ton truck,travelling @ 60mph it takes 426feet to come to a stop.

http://www.ortrucking.org/stopping.htm

AT 80mph.......i dont even wanna guess what a huge rig would do.
 
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Man of Honour
Soldato
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Florida's roads, especially around Orlando/Kissime are in no way representative of my nation's roads as a whole. ;)

In most states the speed limit for commercial trucks whose GVW (gross vehicle weight) is over 10 tons is 55 mph. Ohio, my state, is no exception.

Rear turn signals can be either amber or red. Front turn signals can be either amber or white (the vast majority are amber). All it has to do is flash to indicate to which side you'd be maneuvering. I don't really see what's so confusing about it. :confused: :p
 
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Soldato
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Gone......
West said:
but with 15 mins to spare we pick up our Chevy Trailblazer and we're on our way.


Right there is where my response formed into the following :

I am SO sorry for you. IMO Trailblazers SUCK!!

But did you notice that even with that 4.2L engine that you were STILL getting around 20mpg? And that's on a 3.785L gallon, not your 4.55L gallon? So that would work out to 24mpg over there. Not bad for a 4300 pound vehicle.....

What kind of mileage do Land Rovers get I wonder.


And yes, interstate signage for the uninitiated is a terrifying experience.
 
Associate
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I too have just returned from Orlando and drove for the first time and have to say I bloomin' loved it.

We got a 5 odd litre Toyota 4Runner (3 adults, 1 infant, a lot of luggage and pushchair/stroller) and it was a beauty. I drive an auto at home too and once you get used to them, what the hell is the point in doing the gears yourself, as long as it's a good auto box, it's better at it than you.

My thoughts on the roads are similar, road signs are a nightmare if you have no idea were you are. They're ok if you have a rough idea of the direction you want to go in so planning ahead is the key.

I spent a week in work programming my sat nav and rehearsing routes on Google Maps.


I found the experience over all much more relaxing than driving in this country despite reading countless articles saying you yanks are all nutters! Speed limits changed frequently which is a lot to get used to when you're also unsure of where to go but despite the fact that I was rarely doing the correct speed for the first couple of days (always under rather than over the limit mind) I only got 1 honk on the whole trip and that was because I did a lane merge incorrectly (treated it like a left merge rather than a right and stupidly assumed the fat bitch would let me in).

As a postscript, when I got home and got into my Bubba and set off driving home I got no end of nobbers cutting me up, honking, flashing and generally being bum heads just because I was feeling a little pooped after being awake for 27 hours and used to a slow laid back drive.

EDIT: oh and I got 17mpg but did a lot of stop-start driving due to being on I-Drive and as Mickey says, that probably comes to over 20 mpg.
 
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Caporegime
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Mickey_D said:
What kind of mileage do Land Rovers get I wonder.

I'm guessing you mean Range Rovers (assuming you actually want to compare like for like). Your average 4.2 Supercharged V8 Vogue gets around 18MPG combined, but that 4.2l engine is making 400BHP. I'm guessing your Yank SUV isn't making anywhere near that power.
 

POB

POB

Soldato
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Is it me or do less people break the speed limit ?

In the UK its easy to find someone doing 100 on the motorway, there seems to be less people speeding in California at least.

The toyota Sienna is the worst people carrier ever invented its so bad, it can't seem to keep in straight line.
 
Man of Honour
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West said:
...

Now, were okay down the 417 toll heading toward the 192 Highway, no problems, untill we actually hit the 192. Now it tells us to head toward Kissimme and keep going till you hit Formosa Gardens on the left hand side... and us not knowing the area, we worked out because of the lack of sign posting, we drove past the place 3 or 5 times before we finally worked out where it was.!
Hmmm, memories of getting lost there a few years ago. Worst bit of road in the US ever.
 

Jez

Jez

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I was in new york state a few weeks ago and my thoughts echo the above with regard to the signage systems, absolutely awful. The quality of the road surfaces was terrible too compared with our road system.

The trailers on their huge trucks dont seem to have anything on them to stop a car driving underneith them, we could have easily swerved and ended up under one of those things.

Petrol seemed slightly cheaper where i was, around $1.50 per gallon for basic UL, diesel didnt seem to be anywhere to be found at most of the petrol stations i saw.

Only last observation was the speed at which the traffic flows, SO SLOW. We were on 5 lane motorways doing 60mph in the outside lane, i do about 50k per year here in the UK and always cruise at nearly 100, with little blats over to 110 possibly a touch more if there is an empty bit or someone else going fast, and its never a problem in the outside lane, there are always people at the same speed. Over there if i did 100 i would stick out like a sore thumb. The towns are even worse, with loads of 20mph sections which people actually seem to stick to :eek:

Overall, loved it, but driving there got on my nerves due to the speeds and quality of the road system.
 
Soldato
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I did find, it wasnt just trucks breaking the speed limits, there were a lot of other people also doing so. I found that most of the road surfaces around where we were alright, the I-4 and the 27 were great,although there were a lot of roadworks going on too.Buttons: Where abouts in FL did you stay, you were probably on the same flight as us hehe, we landed back here monday on TCX 473L and we stopped close to exit 55 on the Interstate 4 at Sunset Ridge
 
Associate
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We came back Thursday night landing Friday morning on a Virgin plane so different flight but no doubt walked past you in a park!

Did you go to the Halloween night while you were there? It was ace, I wore a pirate hat with goofy ears and I'm 31! God I love Florida.
 
Soldato
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BillytheImpaler said:
Florida's roads, especially around Orlando/Kissime are in no way representative of my nation's roads as a whole. ;)

In most states the speed limit for commercial trucks whose GVW (gross vehicle weight) is over 10 tons is 55 mph. Ohio, my state, is no exception.

Rear turn signals can be either amber or red. Front turn signals can be either amber or white (the vast majority are amber). All it has to do is flash to indicate to which side you'd be maneuvering. I don't really see what's so confusing about it. :confused: :p

Florida's roads, especially around Orlando/Kissime are in no way representative of my nation's roads as a whole.

i love driving in NC, and NJ the roads are so much nicer and the signs and exits are so well laid out. its only down here in florida we have rubbish roads :o
 
Associate
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BillytheImpaler said:
Where in Florida do they hold Halloween in September? I was under the impression that it was on All Saints' Eve everywhere.

Sorry to resurrect but it's Halloween every Friday until October then pretty much every day in October in Disney's Magic Kingdom.

It's Christmas every day for a month in December.

It's brilliant for kids, and big kids like me!
 
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Jez said:
I was in new york state a few weeks ago and my thoughts echo the above with regard to the signage systems, absolutely awful. The quality of the road surfaces was terrible too compared with our road system.

I notice the same when I have been to NY/NJ. The NJ turnpike and associated multi lane roads are awful but it is because of the weather. The freeze/thaw cycle of winter making cracks which water gets into and freezes rips them apart.

Scary roads when your going along straight and suddenly your going sideways because of the awful road surface. Note I wasnt driving, a local was.
 
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Ron Burgundy said:
All of Americas problems would be solved if they drove on the correct side of the road!

You know what, I'm going to disagree with you (and rightly deserve to be shot as a traitor of course).

I thought I'd hate driving on the right but actually found it very instinctive and natural. I think it suited me better for some reason.

Particularly liked the magnified wing mirrors but found the rear view in the Toyota useless as it had no magnification and the window tints were a pain.
 
Soldato
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I drove for the first time in the USA this year whilst in Florida for 2 weeks. Loved it. The fact I'd been 8 times previously with my poarents and therefore already had a fairly good idea of where things were.

Got around a fair bit, started in Miami for a few days, then in one evening drove to key west and back against the clock to make it for sunset! Lots of overtaking on single lane causeway bridges at 100 mph plus... I generally found the traffic although not exactly moving at the speed of light, always flowed well, particularly in suburban areas and cities that in the UK would be a nightmare. I suspect this may be because of the capacity of the roads generally being much larger than ours, and things lik ebeing able to turn right on red helping a constant flow of traffic.

Next day I drove across the I75 and to Fort Myers/Sanibel island and stayed there a few days, then up to Orlando before returning to Miami to fly home.

Generally on interstates I cruised at 90 - 100 and although not as frequently as in the UK, would generally see other people doing the same, and if so would stick with them so they were also doubling up as an extra set of eyes on the road ahead!

Didn't see a single speed camera, but I did see no less than 10 police cars pulled onto the central verge on the I75 near Naples, each with a car pulled over in front of it. Guess they like to hunt in packs!!

The car I had was a "standard" family car, and turned out to have a 3.5 V6 engine mated to a half decent auto box with manual override. I actually really liked driving it. Yes, it was a bit wallowy (based on the Vectra I'm led to beleive, which explains something!), but for long straight roads it was ideal. The engine was nice and torquey and made for effortless cruising.
 
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