The Rules Of Pavement Etiquette

The Rules Of Pavement Etiquette

VideoJug present you with a definitive guide to pavement etiquette. Never experience that awkward moment again, and learn how to smoothly get around someone when walking down the pavement.

The Rules Of Pavement Etiquette

Have you ever walked down the street and had this happen to you? It makes both people, no matter how cool they are normally, look foolish.

This silly little dance has no definitive name. You may recognise it as get-past-you-shuffle, the Pavement Tango, or 'that thing where you go like this'. We prefer the title 'The 'Droitwich' - a term popularised by the author Douglas Adams in his book 'The Meaning of Liff'.

Video Jug is going to help you avoid this uncomfortable situation once and for all.

Once you spot someone coming your way, you must use the same rules as driving a car. If you both veer to your left, or you both veer to your right, then you should pass easily.

But British people drive on the left, and much of the rest of the world drives on the right. What to do?

Simply adopt the driving laws of the country in which you are. In an American Droitwich situation, pass on the right. For a UK Droitwich, pass on the left.

Let's see some of those Droitwich situations in action..... Here we go.... the gentlemen are approaching head on, - we are in the UK, so they must pass each other on the left. They are both looking where they are going, so they can both calmly decide on their course and keep it steady.... and there we are! Textbook. If either of these gentlemen had hesitated or deviated at any point, then the other gentleman may have lost confidence, and begun to hesitate or deviate as well, which would no doubt have ended up in a classic Droitwich.

We are now in the US. The two fellas approach, but look! It looks like it's going to be a showdown. They are both holding their ground. It's getting tense; maybe the Droitwich cannot be averted? But at the last moment they both cottoned on, and the Droitwich is avoided thanks to their last minute adherence to US rules. Well done fellas. A pass to the right, Droitwich averted.

We are in France, where they drive on the right, and quell horreur! un Droitwich is about to develop. The hommes are approaching from a 90 degree angle, and it is clear that this homme coming from the left has right of way, as if this was a roundabout. The other homme simply drops down a gear, adjusts his step and allows the first homme to pass in front. Excellent!

There is one other interesting note. If you are passing into an Embassy that has different driving rules from the host nation, then you must be light on your feet. For an embassy is considered to be part of the country it represents. Consider this fourth example, which is rare:

A Russian is coming out of the Russian embassy in London. An Englishman is heading in. A Droitwich situation opens up. Whether they pass on the left or the right depends on precisely whose territory they are in as they pass. And it looks like...yes they are passing on the left, as they are outside of the Embassy's grounds. If they had been inside, they would have of course passed on the right.