Many guidebooks to France will tell you that ‘priorité à droite’ is something that you only find in remote rural places and that it is dying out. In actual fact the right of drivers who are in a side road to drive out in front of you is very common. Even new estates have roads that continue this practice. If people have more heart attacks in France, then ‘priorité à droite’ could easily be the cause. I was driving home through the town one rainy evening, thinking about the course I had just been teaching, when suddenly someone drove out of a side street ahead of me. I slammed on the brakes and was left with a palpitating heart and a cold sweat. I presume that the mayor’s office uses it as a traffic calming measure as, once you are aware of it you drive with caution when approaching side roads on the right. A road sign before the junction of a red warning triangle with a black X in the middle should warn you of this hazard.

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