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China – Driving

China is a vast country with diverse driving conditions and rules that can differ from region to region. In this article, we will discuss road safety in China, the quality of roads, local driving standards, equipment requirements, driving rules, road signs, traffic lights, and parking regulations.

Road Safety in China

Road safety in China has improved significantly over the past few years, thanks to the government’s efforts to improve infrastructure and increase awareness of traffic laws. However, accidents are still common, especially in big cities where traffic congestion is a major issue. It’s important to drive defensively, wear your seatbelt at all times, and obey traffic laws to stay safe while driving in China.

Quality of Roads and Local Driving Standards in China

The quality of roads in China can vary widely depending on the location. Major cities and highways usually have good road infrastructure, but rural areas may have poorly maintained roads. Local driving standards can also vary widely, especially in less developed areas. It’s important to drive cautiously and be prepared for unexpected driving behaviors while on the road.

Equipment Requirements in China

When driving in China, you are required to carry a few items in your car, including:

  • Your driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration papers
  • Insurance papers
  • First aid kit
  • Warning triangle
  • Fire extinguisher

What to Do in the Event of a Road Accident in China

If you are involved in a road accident in China, you are required to call the police immediately. You should also exchange insurance and contact information with the other party involved in the accident. It’s important to stay at the scene until the police arrive, as leaving the scene of an accident can result in severe penalties.

Driving Rules in China

Which Side of the Road Should You Drive on in China?


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In China, you drive on the right side of the road.

Right of Way in China

In China, vehicles on the main road have the right of way. When entering a roundabout, vehicles on the inside lane have the right of way.

Speed Limits in China

Speed limits in China vary depending on the location and road conditions. In urban areas, the speed limit is generally 60 km/h, while on highways, it’s usually 100 km/h.

Other Important Rules in China

  • You are not allowed to use your phone while driving.
  • It is illegal to drink and drive.
  • You must wear your seatbelt at all times.
  • It is mandatory to use your headlights at night and during foggy conditions.
  • You are not allowed to honk your horn in urban areas, except in cases of emergency.

Road Signs and Traffic Lights in China

Road signs in China follow international standards and are usually in both Chinese and English. However, not all signs are translated into English, so it’s important to be familiar with the Chinese characters for important road signs. Traffic lights in China follow the standard red, yellow, and green system.

Where to Get Up-to-Date Road Traffic Info in China

The most reliable source of up-to-date road traffic information in China is the China National Highway Traffic Radio. You can also check local traffic updates on the Baidu Maps app or the Amap app.

Parking Regulations in China

Parking regulations in China vary depending on the location. In general, it’s best to park in designated parking areas to avoid fines and penalties. Parking permits may be required in some areas, especially in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Disabled parking is available in most public parking areas, and a valid disabled parking permit is required.

In conclusion, driving in China can be challenging due to varying road conditions and driving standards. However, by obeying traffic laws and driving defensively, you can stay safe on the road.


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