eli5: Why are the roads so chaotic in 3rd world countries?

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eli5: Why are the roads so chaotic in 3rd world countries?

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They can also be that way in 1st world developed countries. Look at the traffic circle around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Its more about local traffic laws than economic status.

If you replace “3rd world” with “developing countries” you can pretty much answer your own question and avoid using an outdated, nonsensical term. Win win!

Lack of rules and lack of enforcement of what rules do exist, so drivers get used to the fact that they can almost always drive as they want.

Edit… this applies to any country regardless of how developed or not.

Driving culture might not have been around for very long. In America, when cars first hit the road en masse, everything went to shit quite quickly. People didn’t have rules of the road because they never drove before so they were rising on sidewalks and striking pedestrians left and right.

Also, at that time, automotive manufacturers put out PR campaigns to blame pedestrians for injuries and fatalities from being struck with vehicles, so a hit-and-run wasn’t considered the drivers fault. They did this to make sure driving would still remain popular and people wouldn’t be deterred from driving cars just because they might kill someone. I have heard immigrants from developing countries get cross with pedestrians, so I suspect this is going on today, but I don’t know for sure.

The problem with legislating safer driving laws like stops signs and speed limits, is the poor people who can’t afford cars are the ones being most heavily affected by the lack of safety, and the rich people are the ones who would be punished the most, so it is incredibly difficult to get driving laws changed. Plus enforcing traffic laws requires cash which is an issue in developing countries.

Lastly, there’s not likely to be car inspections or anything like that, and people might not even have the idea that brakes need changed if they never owned a car before. Power steering is probably not standard. So the actual car might not be the safest thing around.