US Driving Tips For Visitors And Foreigners

The United States has a set of wide and spacious roads. The place itself is conducive for driving, regardless if you are an amateur or professional. Furthermore, all the regulations are there to ensure that you will be safe all the time.

Needless to say, there are various policies and commandments that you have to heed while you are driving on the US soil.

If you are a visitor, you have to learn some stuff first before you can step down on your gas. Of course, if you fail to follow these things, you might get on the bad side of their authorities.

For foreigners out there, these driving tips can help you out.

1. The USA is a Right-Hand Driving Country​

driving in USA

One of the key things that people miss, whenever they are driving in the United States, is the kind of driving that they have.

Specifically, the country is a host for right-hand drivers. Therefore, it is pretty given that what they implement there is right-hand traffic, not left-hand.

They also have two-way traffic there, which commands a driver to set his/ her vehicle on the right or left side of the road.

This policy is often known as the Rule of the Road. The latter enables the US to have a fluid traffic flow while curbing down any kind of traffic accidents.

2. State Laws​

driving regulations

If you are planning to drive in the United States, one of the first things that you have to consider is their state laws.

In each state, they have a particular set of state laws that they implement to control their traffic. Sometimes, some of the state laws are anchored in the federal law, or the law that governs the entire country.

However, take into account that most of the traffic laws in the United States are subjected on the state level.

Therefore, what you have in California is different from Washington. These states have different policies and sanctions for age limits, speed limits, and driving while under the influence of substances.

3. Age Limits​

age limit for driving

Not all age are allowed to drive in the United States. This is to prevent minors from getting involved in traffic accidents and hazards. But just like what I stated a while ago, the age limit policy varies from state to state.

The key point here is that minors are never allowed to get a driving license until they reach a certain age.

Depending on the state, these figures vary from 16 years old to 18 years old. It would be better if you check the current state that you are in and inquire about the appropriate age where you can drive legally.

For visitors and foreigners, most of the rent-a-car services and companies implement their age restriction, too.

A chief number of them wants the driver to be 21 years old and above before he/ she can rent a vehicle. Furthermore, there are various surcharges if the driver is not yet 25 years old.

4. Basic Traffic Rules​

basic traffic rules in USA

Just like many countries in the world, the United States of America has their own set of traffic rules. Break any one of these, and you'll have to deal with their authorities.

 You have to know right now that getting a traffic violation in this country is not that easy. You have to settle it with fees; otherwise, you'll incur severe sanctions.

Here are some of the traffic rules that you have to know before you drive in the United States.

  • Unless you are on the US Virgin Islands, you need to drive your vehicle on the right-hand side of the roads.
  • You need to be keen about the speed limits. Almost all of the roads have speed limits, so must be very observant and careful.
  • Don't ever think of driving if the alcohol level of your blood is beyond the legal limit. In all of the states in the US, the alcohol concentration in the blood should not exceed 0.08%.
  • You must take heed of any stop signs that you see.
  • Step your brakes if you can see a static school bus that is flashing its lights.
  • Of course, the driver and the passenger should wear their seatbelts. This is a basic yet one of the most ignored policies by foreign drivers.
  • If you are driving in an intersection, you need to defer to the car that arrived in the intersection before you. If you and one vehicle arrived simultaneously, the vehicle on the right-hand side of the road would be the first one to proceed. If there's a STOP sign, then you should not proceed at all.
  • Never honk the horn of your vehicle, unless it is necessary. The horn is used in a situation where you need to get the attention of another vehicle or a bypassing pedestrian. 
  • If you are in a residential area, the speed limit is typically 35 miles per hour or 60 kilometers per hour. However, there are various states where the speed limit for residential places is 25 miles per hour. If the place has a lot of highways with little intersections and traffic, the speed limit can get as high as 55 miles per hour.
  • All of the states have different policies when it comes to the charges they place on their toll roads. You need to be aware of these details so that you can prepare the right fees before you pass through them.

See also: Do You Need A Spec​​​​​​​​​​​​ial License To Drive An RV? Yes and No.


Driving in the United States can yield a unique experience to foreigners and visitors. The place has a wide array of traffic regulations that you should follow, whether you are a native to the place or not. Otherwise, you will be facing fines and sanctions that can cause a lot of headaches.

You should not complain about the strict implementation of these traffic rules in the United States. They are for your own safety after all. Just follow them so that you can have a smooth and enjoyable ride.

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US Driving Tips For Visitors And Foreigners
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