Driving Abroad

Having just returned from my summer holiday in Mallorca I have been reflecting on driving in another country and driving cultures.

The number of road deaths has decreased slightly in Spain. Some sources suggesting this may be due to their economic down turn. What is for sure is a dramatic decrease over the years.

Now this surprises me. I have been driving since I was 17 years old and I would like to think I am well qualified to drive a car. But everywhere I went vehicles were following so closely to each other, forget the 2 second rule as a rough guide, it looked like the one car length rule applied. Speed limits appeared not to apply. Use of the horn was a mandatory requirement to be used to advise any driver who dared to spend more than 5 seconds at a junction before screeching out to emerge! It also appeared to be acceptable for drivers parking in between other vehicles to use their bumpers to bounce off the other cars.

I accept the above is a generalisation and that there will be good and bad drivers in any country. But I genuinely felt that everyone was in a hurry to get where ever they were going. I have no doubt that the quick reactions of some of the drivers and perhaps  their ability to use finger miming, helped prevent collisions.  Although, I would have felt more comfortable if the driving had been more proactive and defensive.

Now to the serious point. Now I am 50 years old, how much of my perception and experiences of driving in another country been influenced by a reduced ability to drive as effectively as I use to be able to. Has age finally started to influence how well I drive or am I still an advanced driver just not in Spain?