Driving in the United States for the first time can be an exhilarating experience. Because the traffic laws are different from most other countries in the world, it can be very confusing for international travelers. Here are a few things you need to know about US roadways and how to behave while driving in the States.
Wear a seatbelt at all times.
There are laws in place in the United States that require all passengers and the driver to have a seatbelt on whenever the vehicle is in motion. Failing to abide by this can result in legal action, and that’s not something any traveler wants to experience.
Yield to emergency vehicles.
Ambulance, police officers, and firefighters often need to get somewhere fast. When you see an emergency vehicle approaching from behind you, do what you can to pull over and clear a path for them. When you are waiting at a stop light and hear sirens, take a look around and don’t move until you’ve determined where they’re coming from and where they’re going.
Pay attention to the speed limit.
The maximum speed for a specific road is posted at various places along the highway. This speed can chance greatly depending on location; for instance, in school zones, it drops down very low, but on the interstate highways it can be as high as 70 mph. Knowing what the speed limit is and abiding by it is important for preventing legal consequences.
Make sure you have insurance.
In the United States, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle on the roadway without at least liability insurance. This insurance protects your assets in the event of an accident and covers the repairs to the other person’s vehicle. Having underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage is also important, even though many neglect to get it. For this reason, according to an underinsured & uninsured motorists attorney, many people who are injured in car accidents are under-compensated for the damages. Of course, ensuring your own vehicle is properly insured is important too.
The United States drives on the right hand side of the road.
Many countries drive on the left side of the road, but the United States sticks to the right. This can be a confusing experience, especially for drivers from Ireland and the UK. However, knowing this — and abiding by it — is important for preventing accidents. Under no circumstances should a car be driving straight for you.
Following these five basic rules will help you make the most of your travels to the United States. Make sure to brush up on the specific rules of the highway.