There are many things that really bug me about the way the French drive (what do they teach them for the test? - certainly not signalling, or not overtaking before a brow of a hill, corner etc.) but it is the signposting on their roads which I think must be the cause of many an accident.
I have recently pointed out to our local Mairie that a sign put up to celebrate the markets at Monflanquin has been placed on the pavement to the left of a STOP junction. You now have to go beyond the stop line before you are able to see traffic coming from the left. A talk with the receptionist, an email, photos posted to the Gendarmarie and talking to other locals asking them to complain has resulted in nothing being done at all.
We also have "priority a droite" signs round here but you literally take your life in your hands if you take priority from what is "though"t of as a minor road. These signs are regularly ignored.
The other stupid signposting is when you have to look behind as you drive past a junction to see whether it is the exit you require as you cannot see the signpost until you are past it.
What about the liberal scattering of any sign of any size, anywhere, obstructing anything, of any brightness? Are there no laws whatsoever in France about sign posting on road sides?
Someone has just started a new franchise looking set up in Angola - little hamburger carts on the side of the road that are proudly displaying advertising their goods as 'Wankburger". Possibly more market research would have been worth doing !!
As a motorway gendarme said to me a while back "if the slip road access to the motorway is called the 'voie d'acceleration' it's for a reason". Definitely my experience that too many people fail to accelerate, and join the motorway at 60 kph which is lethal. It also happens at normal junctions. Only yesterday I had to brake really hard to stop ramming someone who pulled out in front of me and then slowed down rather than accelerate. Yes, you can pull into the fast lane to let someone join the motorway. In Belgium it's obligatory if you want to stay alive because they believe in priorité à droite in all circumstances including when they don't have right of way. Changing lanes is just polite, but sometimes it's not possible i.e., when someone is belting up the fast line behind you at well over the speed limit.
Perhaps you would care to tell that to all the little swines around here. They think it's their god given right to take the baffles out of their puny bikes 'silencers' & ride around sounding like a swarm of angry wasps. Not so bad now I'm a country boy but when I lived in the 'Bourg' the buggers would spend all of Sunday riding around the church kicking up one hell of a din. Phew I feel better now I've got that off me chest ;-)
With you there Mike although I think you'll find the 'modern' oils are now have a bit less resistance than the 'tar' they used to lubricate gear boxes with ;-) Still do it on my tractor though as the little use it gets means the battery is usually only just up to pre heating & turning the old gal over !
Us old timers always start the car with the clutch down anyway. Kinder to the starter motor and battery. With pre-computerized cars, that often made the between starting and not going anywhere on a cold morning.......
always leave the car in 1st, was taught to do so and have seen what happens when the handbrake cable snaps (on a steep car parked in a carpark in Teignmouth) and the car isn't in gear - just like bumper cars at the fair :-O
I'll have to remember the old "GF left it in first" speech when I next have a senior moment ;-) Actually I was always told to leave a car in gear with no hand break on in a flat garage to avoid warping hot brake discs or drums.