I learned how to drive in Japan. I went to Hinomaru Driving School in Meguro, where we were required to take something like 30 hours of driving and 30 hours of classroom work. By the end of it, I had memorized all the road rules in Japan, but driving with a super scary instructor as my passenger didn’t make me very good at handling a car. It wasn’t until I almost crashed my Honda Legend twice that I finally started to get the hang of it. (Now, I’m a pretty good driver. I can take my super-torquey stick-shift hatchback on any hill in San Francisco and am happy to report that I do not fit the “Asian women are bad drivers” stereotype anymore.)
I do notice, though, that in the US, people tend to drive really irresponsibly — more than half of drivers on the streets in SF don’t signal when they’re switching lanes or taking a right turn, and they often stop in the middle of the street without hazards on or pulling over.
You rarely see this kind of annoying driver behavior in Japan, but you do see a lot of people driving super-slow, no doubt because they still remember the scary instructor man who sat next to them in driving school and insisted they should never speed. So which is better?