Driving on unfamiliar roads in a new country can be stressful. In fact, you may need to adjust to driving on the opposite of the road. And reading safety tips might not be the most exciting topic to learn about. However, this subject is critical to keeping everyone out of harm’s way.
Here are some important reminders about driving in the United States.
1. Drinking and driving is prohibited. Though the exact amount varies by state, the laws are strict, and you will be arrested if you are over the legal limit.
Photo Credit: AARP
2. Do not text and drive. Ensure Bluetooth is enabled, and your phone use is hands free.
3. Pedestrians have the right of way. Be especially cautious at cross walks.
4. Never pass a school bus when its lights are flashing. Do not proceed until the lights are turned off.
5. If you see or hear an emergency vehicle pull over and let it pass. This goes for police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks.
6. Always wear a seat belt even if it’s just going up the street. 50% of car accidents happen within a five-mile radius of home. Always buckle up the children, first.
7. Always have your driver’s license, registration, and insurance card with you. If you are getting pulled over by the police without it, you will very likely be issued a citation.
8. If you’re relocating from a country that drives on the left side of the road, take extra precautions and care to adjust to driving on the right-hand side of the road in the US.
9. Obey the rules of the HOV or carpool lane, which is located on the far-left side of US highways.
Photo Credit: AAA
10. Always turn headlights on when using your windshield wipers, in bad weather and after sunset.
It is so important to be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to others on the road and practice defensive driving. Keep at least two car lengths behind the car in front of you, don’t look down at your phone—even for a second, and practice caution.
International AutoSource offers additional support for the safety of new expats on the road. Every customer that finances, leases or purchases a new vehicle through the IAS program, is provided with access to an online driving course for their new state of residence. Learn More about online driving courses.
Buckle up and be safe!