Planning to visit the USA? Be sure to rent a car and travel in your own pace. This is the only way to experience real America without haste and explore all the most interesting destinations.
Driving in the USA is already a pleasure in itself – the country is huge, roads are high-quality, and gasoline is cheap. You can pick up a rental car under 25 and have an incredible trip along the picturesque ocean coast.
In order to avoid unpleasant situations on the road, it’s recommended to follow the U.S. traffic regulations, and remember a few valuable tips that we have prepared especially for you.
- Learn to drive in the USA
In order to successfully drive on U.S. roads, start driving where there’s no heavy traffic and difficult road junctions. For example, if you rent a car in Las Vegas, then a few hours driving on the roads in the Nevada deserts will give an excellent understanding of road traffic in America. Then you can go to highways to try the system of road junctions.
2. Take a good navigator
It’s almost impossible to travel in the USA without a satellite navigator. Do you want to get to the desired point? Then stock up on the navigator. There are three options: buy a standalone navigator at the nearest Walmart, install the navigator application on your smartphone, or use the standard Google Maps or Apple Maps with high-speed mobile Internet on your smartphone.
If there’re problems with the Internet, then you can preload the map of the desired region and then Google Maps will operate offline.
Well, and if you have the difficulties with recharging gadgets on the go, it’s always useful to have a paper map of the right state at hand.
3. Observe speed limits
In America, exceeding speed is a sure way to gain hundreds of dollars of fines and meet the police. Especially it concerns cities and school areas. Therefore, locals adhere to the recommended speeds. According to standards, it’s permissible to drive 8 miles per hour faster than the signs indicate.
In addition, it’s always better to stay at the traffic flow – in this case, nobody will stop you, even if the flow moves faster than the restrictions indicated on the signs.
4. Always stop at the STOP-line
If your aim is to drive a car in America without a problem, then respect the STOP sign and always stop for a few seconds on each stop line, even if you are sure that the road is completely empty.
In the USA, stop lines are drawn for a reason. Firstly, with their help drivers can interact at unregulated intersections: whoever stops first goes first. Secondly, it protects against collisions when entering a larger road. Thirdly, most of the cameras at intersections successfully fix this violation.
5. Follow the road markings
The basic rule is that you can’t cross the double yellow line and don’t contradict the pointers drawn on the asphalt.
When driving on highways, keep the selected traffic lane. Frequent lane changes in America don’t make sense and may attract the attention of traffic police. In addition, all the necessary hints regarding the numbers of roads, exits, traffic lights and signs are often duplicated in the form of inscriptions on the road markings. Consider everything that is painted on the asphalt and everything will be OK.
6. Stay away from school buses
Yellow school buses in the USA are cult objects of American kids. While such buses travel in the stream, you don’t have to pay attention to them. However, as soon as they stop, all cars around them must stop too – even oncoming ones.
The most serious violation in the United States is overtaking a school bus during stop!
7. Choose a parking lot carefully
Parking issues in the United States are very complicated. The most important thing is to remember where it’s not possible to park: near red or yellow curbs, opposite fire hydrants and entrances to buildings and courtyards.
Well, you also can’t drive on the sidewalks or lawns. On highways you must not stop on the sidelines (except in emergency situations). If you stop to take selfies, there’s a chance to talk with the police.
8. Follow the signs for the required highway exit
In order not to get lost in the intricacies of American roads, you need to clearly know and check the necessary exits. Exits are most often located to the right of the main stream, so during movement it’s very important to change lanes to the rightmost row in time.
If you are not very sure what exit you need to move out, keep the second lane on the right, slow down a little and read the names and numbers on the upper green signs. Remember that sometimes exits are numbered in numbers and letters, e.g. 32A, 32B, 32C, etc.
However, exits can be also on the left – this must be taken into account so as not to accidentally get off the road. How to find out where the exit will be? Just look in which corner from above the warning inscription is located!