Driving Rules of the Road for the United States
In larger cities, public transportation and walking/biking trails are perfect for international students to get to and from school, as well as to and from jobs. However, some schools are located in cities with poor public transportation options, so buying a car may be a better option. We have had many students buy their own car to get around. Are you thinking, you don't have enough money? Another option is to pool your money with other students to buy a car you all can share.
If you plan on driving while in the U.S., we recommend you obtain an International Driving Permit, which translates the information contained on your official driver's license into 10 languages. If you don't already have a driver's license, you are allowed to apply for a U.S. driver's license in the state you're living in. Read more information on obtaining a driver's license while in the U.S.
For additional information on U.S. Driver's licenses and international Driving permits visit the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Here are some 4 tips for driving in the United States:
- Cars drive on the right. In multi-lane traffic, slower traffic tends to stay in the right lane, allowing faster-moving traffic to pass on the left. Also try to keep space between your vehicle and the car in front of you (about a car length for every 10 miles of speed traveling).
- Speed limits are posted. Generally in cities and towns, limits range from 25 to 30 miles per hour (mph). Country roads often increase to 45 or 55 mph. And large highways will post speeds of 55 to 85 mph. Keep an eye out for speed limit signs, as police officers can pull drivers over for exceeding the limits.
- Wearing seat belts is required in all states except for New Hampshire, which only requires it for those under 18. States differ, however, about whether seat belts are required just for front seat passengers or just for passengers younger than 18 years old. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association recommends seat belts be worn by all passengers in vehicles.
- Drunken driving is a hot topic across the country, and all states have laws restricting driving by anyone with a blood alcohol level registering .08 or higher. Sobriety checkpoints may be set up by law enforcement in some states, while others have law enforcement officers patrolling for drunken driving in the evening hours. Consequences differ in each state for convictions of driving while under the influence.
For additional information on road signs, visit www.trafficsign.us . Also be sure to have a good map in the vehicle with you. Investing in a GPS device might be a smart investment.
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