One of the best things about driving in America is having the chance to get behind the wheel and explore the country according to your own schedule. Let these guidelines help you feel comfortable and drive safely from New York to California.
Cars Are Always On The Right Side of the Road
For visitors from some countries, remembering this little fact can be a challenge. Drivers should always stay in the right-hand lanes. In conjunction with this, cars are allowed to turn right at red lights as long as traffic is clear, so be prepared to do so even at busy intersections. Finally, pedestrians should remember this when crossing the street as cars might sneak up on you from the side you weren’t expecting.
How Weather Influences Your Driving
No matter where you are in the world, weather can affect the way that you drive as well as safety on the streets. In America, even the threat of rain should mean that you turn on your front and rear lights, which also get turned on close to dusk. This allows drivers behind and in front of you to see your vehicle with ease even in heavy rain. In the snow, it may be advisable to ask locals for advice about chains, or you may prefer to stick to roads that have been cleared of ice and snow entirely.
Pay Close Attention to the Speed Limits
One strict highway code in the United States is the speed limit. In most states, the highest posted speed limit is 65 miles per hour on the highways, but there are many cases when you need to go much slower. Look for black and white signs clearly stating the speed limit when you rent a car in America, and understand that driving even a single mile over the posted speed limit can result in hefty monetary fines or additional penalties.
Required, Not Encouraged
Many drivers rent a car in America and think that some highway code regulations are merely recommendations rather than strict rules. Unfortunately, these people may be in for quite a shock if they are pulled over by the police. Running a red light, speeding in a school zone, driving while intoxicated over the legal limit or driving without a seat belt are all things that can, and often do, result in stiff penalties. To ensure that you know the rules of the road, look the rules up online for the state you plan to visit on your holiday.
Lights of All Colors
Lights can be something unusual for drivers coming from other countries. In particular, the tail lights of vehicles are often entirely red, rather than red, yellow and orange, so pay attention to the difference between rear indicators, hazard lights and brake lights on the car in front of you at all times. In addition, remember that stop lights go from green to yellow to red, and yellow is the indication of a quickly changing light.
Photo 1 : Death Valley © Martina Roth – Fotolia.com
Photo 2 : Monument Valley Highway © Amy Nichole Harris – Fotolia.com
Photo 3 : Dallas downtown © kanonsky – Fotolia.com
Photo 4 : Road of Arizona © malkolm – Fotolia.com
Photo 5 : New York © Rafael Ben-Ari – Fotolia.com