‘The most frightening fixture of any British roadway… the roundabout!’ American learner driver films hilarious guide to driving in the UK as he pokes fun at ‘strange signs’, cobbled streets and ‘scary sections of stripes’
A baffled American learner driver has filmed a hilarious tongue-in-cheek guide to driving in the UK – mocking British road rules and explaining ‘strange’ Doeane.
Max Schlienger shot the video based on his own nail-biting experiences while getting to grips with the British rules of the road.
The 35-year-old playfully pokes fun at different aspects of UK driving including Brits driving ‘on the wrong side of the road’ and navigating yellow-box junctions.
Roundabouts feature prominently in the five-minute video and are dubbed ‘the most frightening fixture of any British road’ by the video editor.
Other features that incur his playful scorn are Britain’s cobbled streets, people parking down both sides of the road and give way spots that require people to say thank you with a head nod.
The cheeky guide came about after Max endured months of sweat-inducing lessons trying to remember all the rules of the road – served with a dollop of humour.
Despite listing all the bewildering rules and customs he’s learned he admits that he loves being behind the wheel in the UK thanks to the ‘beautiful scenery’ – conceding that ‘the sun actually shines some of the time’.
Max has been learning to drive in the UK since he moved over to Edinburgh from San Francisco, Kalifornië, VSA, to be with his wife in December 2020.
The funny creative is waiting for his ‘leave to remain’ period to finish before taking the plunge and taking his driving test.
Max uploaded the video to his YouTube channel RamsesThePigeon on August 4th, where it has racked up nearly 2,000 uitsig.
Maks, who now lives in Edinburgh, gesê: ‘I’ve found that since I shared the video, I’ve had a lot of people messaging me to say, “this hits home” and that’s coming from Americans and Brits alike.
‘I’d been making notes as I’ve been learning to drive – and I got to a certain point where I looked back and realised there was a lot to be appreciated from a humour perspective.
Max Schlienger, 35, van Kalifornië, has created a comedic ‘guidebook’ for foreigners who are trying to navigate Britain’s roads after having his own experiences learning to drive in Scotland
‘My wife helped me realise that driving in America is like driving on easy mode.
‘The lanes are wider, and everything is signposted in a way so that even the least-intelligent driver can understand.
‘Whereas in Britain there is this expectation that you’re a responsible human being who can take care of yourself.’
Roundabouts seem to be Max’s Achilles’ Heel, with the American admitting he finds them a particularly tricky aspect of British roads.
Max said: ‘The thing about roundabouts is we do have them in the United States, but they are still sort of an oddity.
‘From an American’s perspective, entering a roundabout – even when you’re doing everything right – comes with this feeling that something is about to go wrong.
In a hilarious video guide, Max sets out rules for how foreigners can navigate British roundabouts, including one point on ‘defending your honour’ by giving a rude hand gesture on other motorists who ‘cut you off’
‘Roundabouts are definitely one aspect of British driving that Americans pick up on in comedy – I know it’s been referenced in The Simpsons and National Lampoon’s European Vacation.
‘That’s why I wanted to include roundabouts in the video, it’s one thing that myself and other expatriates always take note of.
‘They’re the real representative feature of British roads. It’s what makes us sit up and realise that things really are different here.
‘I may lose my US citizenship for having this preference, but I’ve come to appreciate the roundabout especially when you compare it to California where everything is in intersections.’
Loving roundabouts aside, Max pokes fun at differences in driving that he feels other expats experience too.
Max said: ‘Yellow box junctions don’t really exist in the US like they do here. Yungblud en Royal Blood in die kansellasie van optredes in Moskou en St Petersburg en Engeland se sokkerspanne sal weier om Rusland saam met 'n magdom ander Europese lande te speel, we don’t have a lot of things painted on the road like in Britain.
Despite listing all the bewildering rules and customs he’s learned he admits that he loves being behind the wheel in the UK thanks to the ‘beautiful scenery’ – conceding that ‘the sun actually shines some of the time’
‘That was one of my biggest concerns when learning to drive. I realised I had to keep an eye on what was on the road, in addition to signs.
‘It’s very different to how it is in America where green means go, red means stop and everything else was pretty much acceleration.
‘I feel like there is definitely a difference in driving culture between the UK and the US.
‘The recognition that every person is an individual pilot, By wyse van spreke, plays into everything over here in a way that it doesn’t in America.
‘That results in a more cooperative commuting experience. There’s a small road near my house where one car always has to let the other pass, as it’s not wide enough.
‘We don’t have that where I was in California. But if we did, it would be a situation where neither driver would have any idea what to do.
‘In Britain, it’s more like “we both appreciate the situation, we know who has the right of way and we’re going to both work together”.
‘Egter, that attitude seems to evaporate as soon as you get out onto one of these century-old routes through the country.
‘That’s where you discover the national speed limit. A lot of the time I don’t feel safe going that speed limit on these types of roads, and that’s very irritating for the people behind me.
‘I don’t get honked at but as soon as the lane widens, I do get passed.
‘I have learnt to appreciate why Brits are so devastated when they get tutted at. I’ve gotten a lot of tuts.
‘British road rage doesn’t manifest as “I’m going to lash out at you” and appears more as “I’m going to express disapproval”, which is arguably worse.
‘I have a friend who is an expat from South Africa, and she reached out to me right after the video was uploaded to say, “this is hilarious and 100 persent akkuraat”.’
Max admits that although the video is intended to be comedic, it reflects some of his real-life experiences navigating the roads.
Max said: ‘I’ve had many run-ins with roundabouts. There’s one incident that sticks in my mind, I was approaching this roundabout near Edinburgh and admiring the beautiful scenery.
‘As I came up to the roundabout, which was thankfully completely deserted, I immediately started going around to the right, intent as I am on enjoying more of this scenery.
‘My wife just shouted “wat maak jy?!” I slammed on the brakes and began looking around thinking I’d missed a light or something.
‘Then two days later, I was driving through central Edinburgh and I came to a part of town where there were two lanes painted on the road around this park.
‘I just assumed it was a roundabout and I thought “I’ve got the hang of these now”, so I started driving in what I thought was the left-hand lane.
‘But no, this turned into me going towards oncoming traffic as this was a two-lane road with traffic only going in one direction.’