I like Jeremy Clarkson. He's funny and hits the nail on the head with many issues. One thing which I couldn't agree more with is the idea that speed limit usually does more harm than good.
I mean, what's the point of 50 km/hour speed limit on a nice, empty, straight road in the middle of nowhere? The main idea of transportation is speed. I personally think that speed limit is for inexperienced drivers.
What we should really take into account is: weather and traffic. The more cars and people nearby, the slower you drive. The heavier the rain, the more careful you drive. Simply as that.
Having written that, I'm extremely cautious on mountain roads. I may even go slower than the speed limit wants me to. There's nothing more challenging for me than driving on the narrow switchback leading over a steep bluff.
So, you would expect other drivers to care for their lives and drive cautiously on mountain switchbacks too.
But not the Italians.
It's impossible for me to count how many times I had a lively Italian in a hurry glued to my back bumper. They drove so close to my car, that my slightest touch of brake pedal would make them crash into my car. No matter how slippery or narrow the road was, or how scary the mountain bluff was - it seemed that need for speed was all they felt.
In such cases it's worth to ask yourself a simple question: do I prefer to get to my destination with few minutes delay or would I rather get to the ambulance instead? Do I want to be late for a party or would I rather like to see my friends leaning over the hospital bed and looking at me with anxiety in their eyes?
Keeping safe following distance is the absolute must when driving, not only on steep mountain road.
Do I have to mention that we passed some overturned cars while we were travelling in Italy? Not that we travelled many kilometres - we stayed just for 1.5 week, close to Austrian border.
Mountains require respect. No matter if you're hiking on the trail or driving a mountain road. Mountains always need your attention and humility.
So, if you don't respect your own life, that's fine. But please, take into consideration lives of the drivers (tourists who leave lots of money in your fantastic country).
That's actually a request to all drivers, regardless of the country they come from.