Driving in the United States

The United States of America is the birthplace of consumer car culture, and driving is often the best way to savor the sights of this vast country. The country’s great network of roads provides optimum access to the colorful natural wonders that are in between and sometimes far from the multicultural population centers. Most of the sights you typically see on a USA postcard are either best or only accessible by car. Driving long distances in the USA, popularly called a road trip, is a quintessentially American form of travel.

Conditions for Driving in the USA

  • Driving is on the right-hand side of the road with the steering wheel positioned on the left-hand side of the vehicle.
  • The rules of the road differ from state to state so make sure to review the regulations for each individual state.
  • The sequence of traffic lights is usually red, green, yellow and back to red. Wait until green to continue driving. The yellow comes as a warning that traffic will soon have to stop. It is not recommended to speed up to go through a yellow light.
  • There are typically turn signs at intersections, but if there is a lack of signs, you can go right on red with the understanding that there are no vehicles approaching from the right. You cannot go left or right on a red arrow.
  • Use your turning signal when changing lanes or within the reasonable time prior to making turns.
  • Be on the lookout for four-way junctures where all vehicles have to stop. The vehicle that arrived at the juncture first can set out, trailed by the subsequent vehicles to appear.
  • You cannot pass a school bus if red lights are blinking on it
  • Pedestrians have the legal right of way once they’ve stepped onto a crossing without traffic lights and you must stop. Furthermore, when entering or emerging from property or a car park, motorists must give way to pedestrians.

Seat Belt Protocol in the USA

All commuters, adults and children must wear their seat belt at all times. Infants and toddlers must be strapped into an appropriate car seat.

Highway Signs

The main interstate highways that move from north to south are odd numbered alongside the Pacific Coast and I-95 on the Atlantic Ocean coast. Highways that pass east to west are even numbered nearby the Canadian border and I-8 near the Mexican border. Be aware that some highways have up to six to eight lanes.

Alcohol Limit

The legal limit differs from state to state, but being over the legal limit is always severely punished. The legal blood alcohol drinking limit can be as little as 0.05% in some states. It is best to avoid drinking any alcohol if you are driving. Open alcohol containers in your vehicle is also illegal.

Forms Required in Vehicle while Driving

  • Driving license
  • International driving document
  • All vehicle rental forms
  • Photo ID

Domestic License

As a visitor, your driving license is valid for up to a year, in most states. You can likewise acquire an international driving permit, which translates your driving license information into 10 languages. Submit an application prior to traveling. You will likewise have to supply your certified driving license, if requested.

Toll Roads

Toll Roads, also known as turnpikes, are found throughout the US. Some take cash but many only take electronic payments. It is recommended that you check your route beforehand so you can be accurately informed and prepared.

Speed Limits


In the majority of states the maximum speed limit is 65 miles per hour and speed limits are frequently monitored by radar guns. Having a radar sensors in your vehicle is prohibited. The speed limit in a school zone is typically 15 miles per hour and lowering your speed around road work is expected. Unsettled speeding or parking tickets will be mailed to your residence by Sixt rent a car.

Exchange of Kilometers to Miles

One kilometer is equivalent to 0.62 miles per hour. For example, 65 miles per hour is 110 kilometers per hour.

Minimum Age for Driving

Most rental car companies require drivers to be 25 years or older with various driving experience. The minimum driving age in the USA is 16.

Emergency Services

Emergency services can be reached by dialing 911. In some regions of the United States you can dial 511 to receive current traffic and travel information.

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