In Country Driving: A Journey Through China From Farm to Factory, Hessler describes a society that is learning to drive and the idiosyncrasies of the country’s new drivers. He relates that the Chinese rarely use turn signals, windshield wipers, seat belts, or headlights; they tailgate and honk at anything that moves. In a word, the Chinese driving community is immature. Additionally, the Chinese government has done nothing to alleviate the problem. Left turn lanes are often found on the right side of the road and highway police are rare. Fiberglass statues of police officers at some intersections, standing guard like human scarecrows, are ineffective.
Although these driving quirks of Chinese drivers are the basis for entertaining stories, there are significant consequences from the absence of driving regulations and controls. Today in Beijing, an accident involving two shuttle buses transporting Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. employees in China left 7 dead and more than 20 injured. The Taiwan-based electronics contract manufacturing company assembles electronics for companies such as Apple and Sony. This event once again raises questions about the state of driving in China and what should be done to increase safety.