Finnish Roads

  What do you do when your country has empty roads and hardly any cars ?
How are people to know what a traffic jam is or what it's like to have a car accident ?

The answer ?
Design the roads really badly - then despite almost no traffic the drivers will be able to experience traffic jams at rush hours.

Also teach drivers to behave as if there are no other cars on the road (which most of the time is true). Then when there is the slightest bit of traffic they can have accidents and crash their cars, thus enabling them to enjoy a trip to the hospital that they would otherwise miss.

Ok this is a slight exaggeration, but despite it's empty roads Finland does have lots of car accidents.Why ? Read on and i'll explain more....

Accident Rate

Here is a quick quiz, which out of these countries is the safest in terms of road safety: Finland, Sweden, UK or Holland ? 

The answer is UK, even though the roads are so busy and Finland's are so empty. Even Sweden with similar weather and wild animals on the road has safer roads.


1. There are no other cars on the Road

Because finland is so big and has such a small population you can follow this rule - even in the cities and at rush hours.

2. Signaling is optional or at worst one flash of indicator is needed

Well who is going to see it ? the bears and mooses ? See rule #1 to see why signalling is not needed.

3. When joining a motorway you can overtake that truck/caravan immediately.

This is a common one at junctions and a favourite with ambulance crews and car repair shops. For bonus points you can join the motorway at 60km/h even though the speed limit is 120km/h - there are no other cars on it so take your time to speed up.

General Rules of the Road

On the left are some of the general rules of the road when driving in Finland. Follow them and you will fit in with the other drivers and not look out of place. With luck you can have as many accidents as our Finnish drivers.


Junction Design

Here's a junction with traffic lights in Helsinki. Notice the middle lane where cars 1 and 2 are waiting. The cars in that lane can turn left or go straight on.

Some genius has made the red and green lights work different for straight on and turn left. The result is that car #1 has to wait behind car #2 since car #2 is going straight on and those lights are still red.

The normal result is that driver #1 gets impatient and changes lane to try and follow car #3, not looking in his mirror since "there are no other cars on the road". Unfortunately if there are other cars on the road then car #1 will soon be making a trip to the car repair shop like a taxi did when I was car #2 and he was taxi #1.

Roundabout Signalling

How do you signal when turning at roundabout ?
Notice how the car turning left signals left until just before it's exit and then signals right.

This isn't the law in Finland- since as we all know "there are no other cars on the road". So what's the point of signalling left first ? Just drive onto the roundabout and signal about 1 second before leaving. Signalling in the normal way would help other cars use the roundabout more smoothly. - like what happens in England, Australia, Malaysia, America, the rest of Europe .. pretty much anywhere else in the world I have been.

Junction Design

Here's a typical junction with a motorway/dual carriageway in Finland.

It's like someone has read a manual on how NOT to design junctions and implemented as many of the bad points as they can.

1) Almost 90 degree exit turn with short slip road. Great for winter when it's -10 and the road is covered in ice.

2) Traffic lights on entry slip road. All the cars can queue up at the traffic lights and then try to get on the motorway all at once instead of gradually. For added effect some of the drivers will be impatient and try to overtake the other cars within 1 second of joining the motorway. **BONUS POINTS** have roadworks starting 20m after the slip road, so the cars have only a few metres to try and get onto the busy motorway.

3) Traffic lights on exit. This lets the cars queue up at rush hours and hopefully back up onto the motorway to reduce the speed there and give the chance of some rear end collisions. **BONUS POINTS** place the traffic lights after a blind corner. Then cars coming off the motorway can have two attempts at crashing. **DOUBLE BONUS** try to 'fix' this bad junction by spending millions on an extra exit-only lane on the motorway to handle the traffic queues - queues that would never exist if the junction was designed properly.

4) short entry slip road - this stops the cars getting to the correct speed - although since "there are no other cars on the road" there is no problem with them joining a busy motorway at 40km/h. **BONUS POINTS** design the junction upside down so cars joining have to drive UP the ramp which slows them down and cars leaving have to drive DOWN the ramp which gives them extra unwanted speed.



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