American man learning to drive in UK left baffled by ‘frightening’ roundabouts

Max Schlienger, 35, made a video criticising the laws and norms of driving in the UK as he gets to grips with driving on a different side of the road – and he really doesn’t like roundabouts

An American learner driver who is baffled by the UK roads has made a ‘guide to driving in the UK’ – with a few digs at our system.

Max Schlienger, 35, filmed the video to recall some of his own near-misses while learning to drive on the roads of Britain.

During the five minute video, he takes to task several aspects of driving in the UK, including driving “on the wrong side of the road” and yellow boxes at junctions.

One feature of British driving he particularly dislikes is the roundabout – which he dubs “the most frightening fixture of any British road.”

He also takes issue with cobbled streets and parking on both sides of the road.

Max, who moved to Edinburgh from California in 2020 to live with his wife, conceded that he enjoys driving in the UK for the most part due to the “beautiful scenery” it offers.

He said: “I’d been making notes as I’ve been learning to drive – and I got to a certain point where I looked back and realised there was a lot to be appreciated from a humour perspective.

“My wife helped me realise that driving in America is like driving on easy mode.

“The lanes are wider, and everything is signposted in a way so that even the least-intelligent driver can understand.

“Whereas in Britain there is this expectation that you’re a responsible human being who can take care of yourself.”

On roundabouts, he said: “The thing about roundabouts is we do have them in the United States, but they are still sort of an oddity.

“From an American’s perspective, entering a roundabout – even when you’re doing everything right – comes with this feeling that something is about to go wrong.”

He added: “I have learnt to appreciate why Brits are so devastated when they get tutted at. I’ve gotten a lot of tuts.

“British road rage doesn’t manifest as ‘I’m going to lash out at you’ and appears more as ‘I’m going to express disapproval’, which is arguably worse.”

Max uploaded the hilarious video to his YouTube channel, RamsesThePigeon, where it has racked up nearly 2,000 views.

While people laugh at his disdain for British driving, Max is continuing to practise, and is planning to take his test when his ‘leave to remain’ period ends.