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Driving in the Evening

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Philadelphia...
posts: 808
reviews: 28
Driving in the Evening

Are the roads to the small villages relatively safe for driving in the evening? I'm thinking about the wisdom of driving at night for dinners outside of Beaune.

Thank you!

Perpignan, France
Destination Expert
for Languedoc-Roussillon, Perpignan
posts: 5,799
reviews: 87
1. Re: Driving in the Evening

Why wouldn't the roads be safe? The only danger is driving and drinking:

Over 0.05 per cent alcohol in your blood and you are in trouble if you are checked. From July 1st 2012 it is compulsory to carry a breathalyser kit in the car. Two kits per car are advised. 15 euro fines for non-compliance will be levied from November 1st 2012.

Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris, Loire Valley
posts: 16,115
reviews: 4
2. Re: Driving in the Evening

Roads are completely safe. However, if you enjoyed more than a couple of glasses of wine for dinner be careful about driving and do not be surprised to see the local police giving breathalyser tests in the most remote locations possible. The limit in France is 0.05%.

Philadelphia...
posts: 808
reviews: 28
3. Re: Driving in the Evening

We recently had a relative die in a car accident, so I'm extra cautious about road conditions. There are certain places we have traveled like St John, USVI and Costa Rica where I would never drive at night.

Philadelphia...
posts: 808
reviews: 28
4. Re: Driving in the Evening

Very happy to hear this!

Paris, France
posts: 5,817
5. Re: Driving in the Evening

If you are talking about infrastructure yes the roads are very well maintained but they can be small winding roads and of course they are not lit outside towns at night.

The biggest danger on the road is other drivers, not the roads themselves. The French overall drive safely (which wasn't the case 20 or 30 years ago) but in rural France locals drive much faster than visitors because they know all the bends of the road by heart whereas you don't and they often tailgate you.

Philadelphia...
posts: 808
reviews: 28
6. Re: Driving in the Evening

Thank you for this information!

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 6,837
reviews: 8
7. Re: Driving in the Evening

Sorry for your loss. I have driven extensively in France in the 1970s, 80s and most recently in 2008. I feel safer and more comfortable on the roads there than at home in Canada or anywhere I have been in the US.

On this side of the Atlantic, if you have a pulse you can get a driver's license. In France it takes training that is not cheap to get a license. I find the drivers there much more skilled aside from their propensity to tailgate if you dawdle.

Take heart... you will be fine I'm sure. A good rule of thumb with the current alcohol laws... no alcohol at all for the driver.

London, UK
Destination Expert
for Train Travel, Olympics
posts: 6,270
reviews: 154
8. Re: Driving in the Evening

For the next two or three months, it will be light, or at least not fully dark, later than you may be used to.

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 6,837
reviews: 8
9. Re: Driving in the Evening

That's good point Railtraveller65... it never ceases to amaze me in northern Europe and the UK how light it stays so late on a summer evening.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 32,088
reviews: 76
10. Re: Driving in the Evening

French roads are generally in good conditions. Some secondary D-roads might not have lighting at night and they can be a bit winding. Their width is also somewhat narrow so if there is an oncoming car, slow down to ensure there is enough room for both to pass safely.

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