Tips For Driving In The USA

Hi all,

This is no secret… but the USA is massive… even just to pop out, the preferred mode of transport is the car.  A great indicator is to note that all shops and restaurant regardless of size have large car parks; basically you’re going to need to drive places.

I appreciate that driving abroad can be viewed as a scary experience but honestly driving in the USA couldn’t be easier, speed limits are lower which although you might find frustrating coming from the rush, rush of the UK actually makes for a lot calmer and more courteous driving experience.

Now obviously things are different, they drive on the “wrong side” of the road for starters and most of the car hire USA suppliers vehicles will be automatic. I thought is might be handy to list some of the major differences and perhaps give some advice on making you car rental experience as relaxing as possible.

Location, Location, Location

Your first piece of driving will probably be from the airport to your hotel or villa, already knowing the basic route to your accommodation is a must, the last thing you need is your stress levels to be raised by driving “blind”. Google maps is a great tool for plotting your route, failing that you can prepay in theUK for a GPS system to guide you.

Tip, do a couple of laps of the car park where possible to get use to the vehicle.

Who moved the stick?

So as mentioned before you will mostly likely be driving an automatic vehicle, if you’ve never driven an automatic its very much like driving a giant go-kart.

Most automatics will have the following options

  • P meaning Park
  • R meaning Reverse
  • N meaning Neutral
  • D meaning Drive
  • 1 first gear
  • 2 second gear.

Remember an automatic vehicle is driven with one foot (your right) many automatic virgins assume you use the left foot for the break and the right foot for the accelerator, this isn’t the case. Using your left foot for the break will possible result in whiplash for you and your passengers.

Rules of the road

Obviously every Country has its own rules of the road and many differ from ours, here are a few examples.

  • They drive on the right hand side.
  • The drink driving laws are very strict, as a rule of thumb; don’t drink and drive. You will spend a night in the cells if caught.
  • Right turn on a red, I know this goes against your natural driving instinct but if it is safe to do so, you can turn right if the traffic lights are red.
  • When parking in a space remember to drive in with your boot facing out, it is not illegal to only have a licence plate at the back of the car.
  • They take their public services very seriously so, don’t park within 10ft of a Fire Hydrant, you must also change lanes (where possible) if a police vehicle is parked along side the road, if this isn’t possible you must reduce your speed to 20mph.
  • On the same note; do not park in front of red or yellow painted curbs, these area’s are strictly for emergency vehicles.

I think that about covers it, remember driving in theUSAis easy don’t stress about it you’ll be fine, just because you’re in another Country doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten how to drive :-)

Have I missed anything you think could help virgin USA drivers?



 Florida car hire

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