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Driving Safely

The fundamental rules of safety to survive Turkish driving are: DRIVE VERY DEFENSIVELY; AVOID DRIVING AT NIGHT, and NEVER LET EMOTIONS EFFECT WHAT YOU DO.

A number of accidents occur when a local driver stops, take some unexpected action or turn causing the foreign driver to hit the other vehicle or be struck by others. Many of the "unexpected" actions are unexpected according to driving standards but are quite common mostly in Turkey. A high percentage of traffic-related deaths are pedestrians in overcrowded major cities.

The following defensive measures can and should be taken to increase the odds in your favor for accident-free driving:

- Always wear seat belts and keep children in the backseat with seat belts on and/or in a child safety seat.
- Drive DEFENSIVELY, DEFENSIVELY, DEFENSIVELY. This is very important and not a catch phrase to be taken lightly.
- Use your horn to get pedestrians' attention and also your lights to get the attention of other drivers. And pay attention when other drivers use their horns.
- Dusk is really a dangerous time on intercity highways since most drivers delay turning on their headlights until well after dark. Therefore oncoming traffic can be very hard to see.
- Watch out for trucks and buses that take the right-of-way without signaling, whether they are entitled to it or not.
- Check all mirrors and use directional signals for lane changes and do not forget to confirm with direct visual check. Also check right side mirror in particular
- Use four-way flashers to warn the following drivers of suddenly slowed/blocked traffic to avoid being hit from back.
- Every day drive as though you have a mission that is not to be involved in an accident, cause an accident or strike a pedestrian.
- Always expect the unexpected.
- Guess nothing. Make no guessing about what another driver may do or how he/she will react in a situation. Do not think that they have seen your vehicle or will do the "right" thing.

- Unexpected stops or turns without signaling, for any obvious reason.
- Passing on the right lane and cutting in front of other vehicles from the right side.
- Unexpected lane changes and stopping at unexpected locations to pick up or left off passengers by "dolmuş, taxis, city and intercity buses and trucks including main highway entrance slopes, intersections and along major highways.
- Completely careless and unskilled drivers.
- Drivers that drive in the middle of the road and give way to no one.
- Drivers that overtake on blind curves.
- Drivers that attempt to pass you while you are passing other vehicles.
- Tailgating drivers
- Pedestrians apparently completely unaware to oncoming traffic so they continue to walk or run in front of vehicles to cross streets and main highways.
- Trucks parked at night without lights on the highway rather than on the side of the road.
- At night, cars without lights or lights missing.
- Animals on highways, in the countryside watch for herds of sheep, goats and others on the roads.
- Tractors, horse carts and farm vehicles traveling without lights at slow speed on highways.
- Oncoming drivers playing enigmatic light games, flashing and flashing whether you have your "brights" on or not.
- Tire-shredding potholes

These are the basic actions you are going to meet while driving. However there is no reason for you not to add some more when you meet one.

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