Driving in the USA sounds simple, but there are some tips you should keep in mind before you jump into your Sixt hire car and set off across the USA. Why do you need a car? The USA is the 4th largest country in the world at 3.5 million square miles, whereas the UK is just 93,410 square miles. You’ll need a car.
Driving in the USA is complicated by variations in driving laws from one state to the next. You should also bear in mind interstate rules of the road. As you may have seen from TV shows and films from the USA, road signs are colour coded. The two most significant are those which are red/orange as these mean danger or stop, and those which are yellow, as these mean caution.
Elements of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws can vary from state to state in the USA. However, in every single state Driving in the USA is illegal with a blood alcohol concentration at or above 0.08. The USA takes DUIs extremely seriously, so be very careful at all times. For example, if you’re Driving in the USA shortly after landing a tip would be careful about drinking on the plane.
Driving while distracted is also serious, constituting a primary offence in many states in the USA. This means that you could be ‘ticketed’ (fined) on the spot. If you are unsure then ask Sixt for any advice regarding driving laws in the USA.
When Driving in the USA you should also bear in mind state speed limits, and state seat belt laws. Also be wary of driving on freeways until you’re used to driving on the wrong side of the road.
Ultimately the best tips for Driving in the USA is to drive carefully or defensively. This means being aware of the potential for hazards and anticipating them, rather than just reacting to them.
Also, don’t forget to tell Sixt your driving plans, especially if you’re driving to different states, or thinking of departing the USA from a different city.
Speed limits for the USA are dependent on State Law so vary across the country, please be mindful to check these limits when travelling to the USA.
Whilst an International Driving Permit (IDP) isn’t a requirement for Driving in the USA, the US government does recommend one as in the event of an accident an insurance company may insist upon seeing your IDP. Florida has repealed its law requiring an IDP, but it’s still a good idea to get one, our tip for driving in the USA would be to always take your own driving license. You can get an IDP through your nation’s driving authority. In the UK though the best way is through the AA or RAC. Currently the fee is £5.50.
* Please note: All information was correct at the time of publication.