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United States of America Driving Guide

United States is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

2023-09-25 · 9 mins
Children and Adult Enjoying the 4th of July at the Beachside Path
Source: Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Spanning an impressive 3.5 million square miles, the United States of America is a melting pot of diverse cultures, scenic landscapes, and a plethora of activities.

Adventurous travelers will find the US rich with opportunities for engaging in various activities, from exploring its expansive national parks and historical monuments to relaxing on beautiful beaches. The country is also a paradise for theater enthusiasts and art lovers, offering a wide range of cultural activities.

For those who love hitting the road, experiencing a cross-country road trip is a fantastic way to soak in the diverse and beautifully preserved landscapes the US is renowned for.

Follow State Regulations

Driving in the USA requires you to know the specific rules for the state you are in. If you are visiting Orlando, for example, then this isn’t so much of a problem, as you will likely not leave the state of Florida. Therefore you only need to learn the rules that apply to Florida.

Bea, a traveler, shares in her post, Tips for driving in the USA for first-time visitors, published on her website, Bea Adventurous.

Traveling to the USA can seem relatively easy for many, especially as English is a predominant language.

However, it's important to remember that the US comprises 50 states, each with its own regulations. With this guide, you'll understand the United States' diverse driving regulations and a rundown of its driving culture.

Let's Take a Closer Look at the United States

New York City Skyline at Twilight
Source: Photo by Jan Folwarczny on Unsplash

Before diving deeper into the United States driving culture and etiquette, here are some interesting facts about the land of the free and the home of the brave:

Geographic Location

The United States of America, commonly known as the US or USA, is a North American country composed of 50 states. Forty-eight states are centrally located on the continent: Alaska lies in the northwest, and Hawaii is in the Pacific Ocean.

Washington, DC, serves as the national capital, existing outside the jurisdiction of any state as a federal district. The US shares its northern border with Canada and is flanked by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south.

Additionally, the United States possesses five inhabited territories — American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. These territories enjoy a degree of self-governance as permitted by the US government.

Territorial Size

The United States covers a land area of about 3.5 million square miles. It vies with China as the third or fourth largest country globally. The combined land areas of the US, Russia, and Canada constitute a quarter of the world's total landmass, highlighting the US's significant geographic footprint.

Linguistic Diversity

The US is a cultural melting pot, reflected in its linguistic diversity. Approximately 350 languages are spoken nationwide, though it has no official language.

English is the predominant language, with about 254 million native speakers. Spanish follows with over 43 million speakers and is one of the fastest-growing languages in the country.

Other widely spoken languages include Chinese and Filipino, with nearly 3 million and 1.6 million native speakers, respectively. Vietnamese and French are also commonly spoken. This linguistic variety underscores the multicultural nature of the US.

Land Area

The United States has a total land area of around 3.5 million sq. mi. It competes with the People's Republic of China, and depending on the source, it may be ranked third or fourth-largest globally. Moreover, the total land areas of the USA, Russia, and Canada make up a quarter of the Earth's entire landmass, further proving that the country is a superpower in size.

History

The United States was inhabited long before explorers like Christopher Columbus arrived. These early inhabitants, likely of Asian origin, are believed to have migrated from Asia to North America via the Bering Strait around 20,000 to 35,000 years ago.

The arrival of Europeans, starting with the Spanish and later the English, marked the beginning of a complex historical period. The first English colony was established in Jamestown, Virginia 1607, primarily by those seeking religious freedom.

By 1620, the Pilgrims founded Plymouth, Massachusetts. The population of the American colonies, initially aided by Native Americans and later joined by enslaved Africans, grew to about 2 million by 1770. The Declaration of Independence in 1776 marked the colonies' separation from Great Britain.

Government

White House with Summer Gardens in Washington DC
Source: Photo by David Everett Strickler on Unsplash

The US government, serving approximately 331 million citizens, is divided into three branches: legislative (Congress, including the Senate and House of Representatives), executive (President, Vice President, cabinet, and federal agencies), and judicial (Supreme Court and other courts).

Each of the 50 states has its own government, mirroring the federal structure. The Constitution delineates powers to the federal government, with residual powers reserved for state and local authorities. State and local governments manage various functions, including issuing driver's licenses and supervising public institutions like schools and police departments.

Tourism

Grand Tetons Reflected in Mountain Lake at Sunrise
Source: Photo by Cora Leach on Unsplash

Tourism and travel significantly impact the US economy. In 2018, the country hosted 80 million foreign tourists, generating $1.6 trillion in economic output. Inbound travel accounted for 10% of exports and supported six million jobs.

The US offers diverse attractions, including national parks, museums, beaches, monuments, and theater shows. Road trippers can traverse the country, enjoying well-preserved landscapes that highlight the nation's commitment to conservation.

International Driving Permit FAQ

Vintage Van Traveling Along Scenic Mountain Road
Source: Photo by Abigail Keenan on Unsplash

The US roads are open and inviting for international drivers, but having the necessary documentation is crucial. One key document is the USA's International Driving Permit (IDP). This guide is designed to help you understand the importance of an IDP and guide you through obtaining it.

Can You Drive in the USA with a Foreign Driver's License?

Having a driver's license is essential for legally driving in the country. The good news is that the US recognizes all foreign driver's licenses.

However, if your license isn't in English or doesn't use the Roman alphabet, acquiring an International Driver's Permit (IDP) becomes necessary. For non-U.S. citizens, IDPs can be obtained from their home country, often informally known as an international driver's license.

The International Driver's Association (IDA) offers IDPs. You can apply online through our website if you are in the US without an IDP. Ensure that you include your zip code for efficient delivery.

For US residents, the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA) are the go-to sources for an IDP. It's important to note that IDPs from other sources are not recognized.

Which States Require International Driving Permits?

The necessity of an IDP in the US varies by state. States requiring an IDP along with your foreign license include:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington

In some states, an IDP is only required if the original license isn't in English. In others, like California and Colorado, an IDP becomes a necessity after a 90-day stay.

To ensure smooth travel across different states, obtaining an IDP is recommended. US citizens should be mindful of acquiring their IDP from AAA or AATA.

How Do I Get an International Driver's Permit in the USA?

To acquire an IDP for the US, apply through an organization recognized in your home country. The International Driver's Association (IDA) offers an online application process if you're already in the US without an IDP. For lost IDPs, contact IDA's customer service for a free replacement, and only cover the shipping cost.

The process is simple and user-friendly. Check the IDA's FAQs and pricing pages for detailed requirements and fees. IDA's IDPs are translated into 12 languages and are valid in over 150 countries. We offer global shipping if you need an IDP while in the US; apply through IDA with your complete address for delivery.

Car Rental Guide for the United States

Exploring the United States by car is an enjoyable venture. But, arranging for a vehicle is essential before you embark on your road trip.

This guide provides vital insights for international drivers about car rentals in the United States, including cost, insurance, and age requirements.

Car Rental Companies

Traversing the US is an exciting and rewarding experience, and choosing a reliable car rental agency is critical to this adventure. Look for a rental company with a strong reputation and positive customer feedback. Renowned rental agencies include:

  • Enterprise
  • Hertz
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Sunnycars
  • Dollar
  • National
  • Thrifty
  • Alamo
  • Sixt
  • Eagle
  • Midway

You can book a vehicle online or upon arrival in the States. Many companies have outlets at airports, but you also have the option to rent from their actual physical locations.

Required Documentation

To rent a car, you must present certain documents. These typically include a valid driver's license, a credit or debit card for payment, and a passport for identification purposes. Drivers with licenses not in English or without Roman alphabet characters need an international driver's permit. Additionally, renters must meet the rental company's minimum age requirement.

Choosing the Right Vehicle

The choice of vehicle is crucial for a comfortable journey. Consider your driving distances, luggage, and the number of passengers. Vehicle options range from economy cars to SUVs, multipurpose vehicles (MPVs), compact cars, minivans, pickup trucks, station wagons, convertibles, luxury cars, and more. Your choice should align with your travel needs, whether off-road or group.

Car Rental Cost

Car rental prices vary, especially during peak seasons. Booking 6 to 12 months in advance is recommended for better rates. Average daily rental costs in the US are:

  • Economy: $16
  • Compact: $20
  • Intermediate: $19
  • Standard: $18
  • Full-size: $20
  • SUV: $22
  • Minivan: $22
  • Full-size SUV: $26
  • Premium SUV: $41
  • Compact SUV: $20
  • Standard SUV: $22
  • Intermediate SUV: $22
  • Luxury SUV: $55
  • Mini: $20
  • Premium: $21
  • Passenger van: $33
  • Luxury: $29
  • Convertible: $37
  • Pickup truck: $25
  • Premium coupe: $44
  • Coupe: $96
  • Standard station wagon: $28

Additional fees for car accessories, airport rentals, or one-way rentals may apply.

Minimum Age Requirements

The minimum car rental age varies by company and state, typically 21 to 25 years. In some states like South Dakota, the driving age is lower, but rental companies still adhere to their age policies.

Young drivers, usually below 25, may incur a surcharge. This fee can vary significantly depending on the company and location. To avoid surprises, it's advisable to check the rental company's website for specific age requirements.

Car Insurance Cost

When renting a car, consider whether you need rental car insurance, especially if your travel insurance lacks certain coverages. This insurance is optional, with prices varying by rental company and insurance type. Average insurance costs are:

  • Supplemental liability insurance: $8-$12 per day
  • Loss damage waiver: $20-$30 per day
  • Personal accident insurance: $3 per day
  • Personal effects coverage: $2 per day
  • Full coverage: $33-$47 per day

Car Insurance Policy

Review your car or travel insurance to see what's covered. Rental companies offer various insurance options like collision damage waiver, supplemental liability insurance, and personal accident insurance and effects coverage. Discussing insurance policies with your rental agency can help you avoid redundant expenses.

Road Rules in the United States

The United States has federal laws, but each state also has its own set of regulations, adding complexity for both foreigners and sometimes even locals.

If you're embarking on extensive drives across the U.S., it's crucial to acquaint yourself with the basic driving laws of the areas you'll be exploring. This ensures you avoid any infractions that could potentially mar your trip. Take a moment to read this guide and familiarize yourself with the essential road rules in the U.S

Driving Orientation

In the US, vehicles operate on the right side of the road, with left-hand drive cars. Some adjustments will be necessary for those accustomed to driving on the left.

Tips for adapting include practicing driving on the right, understanding local road rules like roundabout navigation and overtaking protocols, and staying vigilant to avoid accidents.

The legal driving age varies across states, with learner's permits typically issued around 15 to 16 years old. Note that rental car companies often have higher age requirements, usually between 21 to 24 years. Knowing the specific age requirements in the state you are visiting or residing in is essential for those seeking a US license.

StateLearners PermitRestricted LicenseFull License
Alabama15 years16 years17 years
Alaska14 years16 years16.5 years
Arizona15.5 years16 years16.5 years
Arkansas14 years16 years18 years
California15.5 years16 years17 years
Colorado15 years16 years17 years
Connecticut15 years16 years and four months18 years
Delaware16 years16.5 years17 years
District of Columbia16 years16.5 years18 years
Florida15 years16 years18 years
Georgia15 years16 years18 years
Hawaii15.5 years16 years17 years
Idaho14.5 years15 years16 years
Illinois15 years16 years18 years
Indiana15 years16.5 years18 years
Iowa14 years16 years17 years
Kansas14 years16 years16.5 years
Kentucky16 years16.5 years17 years
Louisiana15 years16 years17 years
Maine15 years16 years16.5 years
Maryland15 years and nine months16.5 years18 years
Massachusetts16 years16.5 years18 years
Michigan14 years and nine months16 years17 years
Minnesota15 years16 years16.5 years
Mississippi15 years16 years16.5 years
Missouri15 years16 years18 years
Montana14 years and six months15 years16 years
Nebraska15 years16 years17 years
Nevada15.5 years16 years18 years
New Hampshire15.5 years16 years17 years
New Jersey16 years17 years18 years
New Mexico15 years15.5 years16.5 years
New York16 years16.5 years17 with classes or 18 years
North Carolina15 years16 years16.5 years
North Dakota14 years15 years16 years
Ohio15.5 years16 years18 years
Oklahoma15.5 years16 years16.5 years
Oregon15 years16 years17 years
Pennsylvania16 years16.5 years17 with classes or 18 years
Rhode Island16 years16.5 years17.5 years
South Carolina15 years15.5 years16.5 years
South Dakota14 years14.5 years16 years
Tennessee15 years16 years17 years
Texas15 years16 years18 years
Utah15 years16 years17 years
Vermont15 years16 years16.5 years
Virginia15.5 years16 years and three months18 years
Washington15 years16 years17 years
West Virginia15 years16 years17 years
Wisconsin15.5 years16 years16.5 years
Wyoming15 years16 years16.5 years

Drunk-Driving

Drunk driving is a severe offense in the US, with a standard legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.08%. It's 0.04% for commercial drivers, and a zero-tolerance policy applies to drivers under 21. Penalties for drunk driving vary by state, with some states imposing mandatory jail time for first offenders.

Hands-Free Driving

Using a phone while driving is subject to varying state laws. Some states have complete bans on handheld devices, while others have specific restrictions on texting. You must know the laws in each state you plan to drive in.

Child Car Seats

Each state has laws regarding child car seats, typically requiring them for children below a certain age or size. Renting or bringing appropriate car seats when traveling with children is advisable to comply with these laws and ensure their safety.

Preparation Before Driving

Before setting off on a trip, ensure your vehicle is in good condition. This includes inspecting the car, adjusting seats and mirrors, and ensuring all safety features, like seat belts, are functional. Driving while drowsy is discouraged, and some states have specific laws against it.

Hand Signals

Knowing hand signals for stopping and turning is essential if your vehicle's signals are not working. These signals are primarily universal and are used for communicating with other drivers and cyclists.

Parking

US parking regulations vary but generally prohibit parking in traffic lanes, railroad tracks, tunnels, red curbs, no-parking zones, fire hydrants, sidewalks, and spaces reserved for disabled drivers. Additionally, do not leave valuables in your car when parked to prevent theft.

Speed Limits

Speed limits in the US are usually marked in miles per hour (mph), with limits varying by state and road type. It's crucial to adhere to these limits for safety and to avoid legal consequences.

StateRural Interstates (MpH)Urban Interstates (MpH)
Alabama7065
Alaska6555
Arizona7565
Arkansas75 (70 for trucks)65
California70 (55 for trucks)65 (55 for trucks)
Colorado7565
Connecticut6555
Delaware6555
Florida7065
Georgia7070
Hawaii6060
Idaho75 (80 on specified segments, 70 for trucks)75 (80 on specified segments, 65 for trucks)
Illinois7055
Indiana70 (65 for trucks)55
Iowa7055
Kansas7575
Kentucky65 (70 on specified segments)65
Louisiana7570
Maine7575
Maryland7070
Massachusetts6565
Michigan70 (65 for trucks; 75 on specified segments, 65 for trucks on specified segments)70
Minnesota7065
Mississippi7070
Missouri7060
Montana80 (70 for trucks)65
Nebraska7570
Nevada8065
New Hampshire65 (70 on specified segments)65
New Jersey6555
New Mexico7575
New York6565
North Carolina7070
North Dakota7575
Ohio7065
Oklahoma75 (80 on specified segments)70
Oregon65 (55 for trucks; 70 on specified segments, 65 for trucks on specified segments)55
Pennsylvania7070
Rhode Island6555
South Carolina7070
South Dakota8080
Tennessee7070
Texas75 (80 or 85 on specified segments)75
Utah75 (80 on specified segments)65
Vermont6555
Virginia7070
Washington70 (75 on specified segments; 60 for trucks)60
West Virginia7055
Wisconsin7070
Wyoming75 (80 on specified segments)75 (80 on specified segments)

Seatbelt Laws

Car accidents can be alarming and often result in injuries. Seatbelts, however, have been proven effective in mitigating these risks. In 2019, seatbelt usage in the US was 90.7%, saving approximately 14,955 lives in 2017. Furthermore, seatbelts have been shown to reduce the severity of injuries and fatalities in vehicle collisions by half.

In the US, wearing seatbelts is compulsory in all states except New Hampshire, where it's mandatory only for those under 18. Moreover, in 34 states and the District of Columbia, seatbelt laws are strictly enforced as a primary offense.

This means that officers can issue tickets to drivers solely for not wearing seatbelts. In contrast, in other states, enforcement is secondary, and a seatbelt violation ticket is issued only if another offense has been committed.

Notably, seatbelt laws in some states apply only to front-seat occupants, while in 29 states and DC, they extend to all passengers, including those in the rear seats. Always wearing a seatbelt in the US is crucial for compliance with the law and personal safety.

Roundabouts, common in the US, are designed for safer and more efficient traffic flow than standard intersections. Drivers should be aware of how to navigate single-lane and multi-lane roundabouts properly:

Single-lane Roundabouts:

  • Slow down and check for traffic from the left before entering.
  • Maintain a steady, moderate speed.
  • Yield to vehicles already in the roundabout.
  • Enter when safe and signal before exiting.
  • Stay in your lane throughout.

Multi-lane Roundabouts:

  • Choose your lane based on your intended direction: left lane for left turns or U-turns, right lane for right turns.
  • Yield to both lanes of traffic within the roundabout.
  • Enter when safe, signal your exit, and remain in your lane.

When overtaking, it's important to remember that this should be done on the left and only when it's safe and necessary to avoid causing accidents.

Traffic Signage

Understanding traffic signs is crucial for safe driving in the US. These signs come in various types, each serving a specific purpose:

  • Regulatory Signs (white background): Enforce traffic laws (e.g., Stop, Yield, No Parking).
  • Warning Signs (yellow background): Alert drivers to potential hazards (e.g., Sharp Curves, Merging Traffic).
  • Guide Signs (green background): Provide navigational assistance (e.g., Interstate Route Marker, Park & Ride).
  • Service Signs (blue background): Indicate amenities and services (e.g., Gas, Lodging).
  • Construction Signs (orange background): Inform about road works and detours (e.g., Road Work, Detour).
  • Recreation Signs (brown background): Point to recreational and cultural areas (e.g., Hiking Trail, Picnic Area).
  • Pedestrian and School Zone Signs (fluorescent yellow/green): Highlight pedestrian areas and school zones.
  • Incident Management Signs (coral): Used for traffic incidents and management (e.g., Road Closed Ahead).

Right of Way

Ensuring safety and preventing conflicts on the road largely depend on adhering to right-of-way rules. These rules reflect your courtesy as a driver and your understanding of safe driving practices. The right of way in the US is determined by specific guidelines, which are essential to remember:

  • Prioritize vehicles already in an intersection or those entering it first.
  • At an intersection where two cars arrive simultaneously, the vehicle on your right should be given the right of way.
  • Yield to other cars at intersections with stop signs.
  • On T-intersections, vehicles traveling on the through road have the right of way.
  • Obey yield signs and give way to other drivers accordingly.
  • Pedestrians, including those with disabilities, have the right of way on crosswalks.
  • If you're on a smaller road, yield to vehicles on the more extensive road at multi-lane intersections.
  • When merging via an access ramp, yield to traffic on the main road or exit ramp.

Overtaking Laws

Overtaking, also called "passing" in the US, involves one vehicle moving past another slower-moving vehicle heading in the same direction. In the US, this is typically permissible on roads visibly marked with more than two lanes, with overtaking mainly done on the left side, given there is clear visibility ahead.

When driving in the US, it's essential to be aware of specific rules about overtaking:

  • Overtake only in designated passing zones.
  • A dashed yellow line in the center of the road often indicates that passing is permitted in both directions.
  • If a solid and a dashed line are combined, passing is allowed only for vehicles adjacent to the dashed line.
  • Double solid yellow lines signify that overtaking is prohibited in both directions.
  • On roads with four or more lanes, overtaking a slower vehicle on either side is permissible.
  • Ensure that overtaking is done safely and does not pose a risk of collision or other accidents.

Driving Etiquettes in the United States

While driving in the USA, unexpected situations can occur on the road. Every driver needs to be aware of the appropriate actions to take in scenarios like encounters with law enforcement or vehicle breakdowns. Even if you're confident in your driving, it's wise to familiarize yourself with these guidelines

Handling a Vehicle Breakdown

Car troubles can unexpectedly disrupt your journey if you plan long drives. Thus, it's crucial to know how to handle such situations. Should your car break down in the USA:

  • Safely pull over to the road's right side and exit via the passenger door away from traffic.
  • Activate your hazard lights, wear a reflective vest, and set up reflective triangles to warn other drivers.
  • If unable to leave the car safely, keep the hazard lights on.
  • Contact emergency assistance, family, police, or roadside aid detailing your situation.
  • Consider alternatives like renting another car or finding accommodation if repairs are delayed, particularly after dark.
  • In emergencies, dial 911, the nationwide emergency number.

Dealing with Police Stops

Police presence can be intimidating, especially for foreign drivers. It's important to know that police uniforms vary by state due to decentralized law enforcement. If stopped by the police:

  • Turn on your interior lights and keep your hands visible, preferably on the steering wheel, to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Have essential documents, including your driver's license, passport, IDP, car registration, and insurance.
  • Hand over these documents if requested.
  • Remain calm and courteous throughout the interaction.

If you believe the police have mistreated you, you can contest the issue in traffic court, especially if cited. Legal representation is available, and you may need to appear before a judge or magistrate.

Asking Directions

For tourists driving across the USA, interactions with locals are inevitable, whether at gas stations, eateries, or stores. English is the most widely spoken language, facilitating communication for English-speaking travelers. On the other hand, maps and GPS devices are helpful for those less comfortable with direct interaction.

When speaking with locals:

  • Maintain politeness without the need for formalities.
  • Casual greetings are appropriate, and handshakes are generally reserved for formal or business contexts.

Checkpoints

In the USA, you might encounter various types of checkpoints. Knowing how to handle these is important, especially to avoid issues with law enforcement.

  • DUI Checkpoints: Police conduct sobriety tests and may check documents. Remember, DUI laws are strict due to the high incidence of drunk-driving incidents.
  • Border Checkpoints: Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents may search your belongings without consent. You can refuse searches or questions at these checkpoints, typically within 100 miles of borders.
  • Drug Checkpoints: Often considered unconstitutional, police may use these to pull over vehicles for other infractions. Be cautious and aware of your rights.
  • TSA Checkpoints: At airport security zones, TSA agents may inspect belongings. If you face any unjust practices, you have the right to report them.

Handling Accidents

In the unfortunate event of a car accident:

  • Safely stop your vehicle and use hazard lights to signal to other drivers.
  • Remain at the scene to avoid legal repercussions.
  • Call 911 or the police immediately.
  • Exchange contact and insurance information with the other party involved without engaging in conflicts.
  • Gather contact information from witnesses if available.
  • Inform your insurance company to initiate any necessary procedures.

Be mindful that driving under the influence is taken very seriously in the USA. Causing an accident while intoxicated could lead to severe legal consequences. Remember, safety and responsibility are paramount while driving in the USA.

Driving Conditions in the United States

Being aware of the driving conditions in the USA is essential for anyone planning a road trip across the country. This knowledge helps you anticipate what to expect on American roads. While conditions vary state by state, this guide offers a general overview.

Accident Statistics

Data from the US Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) in 2019 shows there were 36,096 fatalities due to car accidents in the USA. Factors contributing to these accidents include alcohol and drug use, phone distraction, speeding, drowsiness, and inattentiveness.

Notably, underage drunk driving accidents account for about 17% of all drunk driving incidents. Teen drivers should be especially cautious, as severe legal consequences await those involved in accidents caused by drunk driving.

Vehicle Diversity

In 2021, the USA had approximately 282 million registered vehicles. Beyond the typical cars, motorcycles, and bicycles, the country offers various public transportation options, enhancing connectivity and reducing traffic congestion. These include:

  • Buses
  • Subways
  • Light rail systems
  • Commuter trains
  • Cable cars
  • Vanpool services
  • Monorails and tramways
  • Streetcars and trolleys
  • Paratransit services for older adults and disabled

Toll Roads

Toll roads are common in many states, including California, New York, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, and New Jersey. Payment methods vary, with E-ZPass being a popular option. Ensure you understand the toll payment process to avoid unexpected bills, especially when renting a car.

Road Situations

The USA boasts about 4.18 million miles of public roads, with approximately 76% paved. These roads are categorized based on their function, with the interstate system being the highest class of arterial roads. Although the road network is extensive and well-maintained, some deterioration, such as potholes and cracks, occurs due to increasing numbers of vehicles.

Driving Culture

Like in other countries, American drivers vary nationwide; some can be hostile, while others are polite and respectful. Generally, US drivers are considered competent, adhering to road rules and exhibiting courteous behavior.

However, as with any country, encountering reckless drivers is possible, so staying vigilant is essential.

Winter Driving Safety

Driving in winter can be challenging, especially for those new to the experience. To ensure safety:

  • Keep emergency supplies like blankets, food, water, and warm clothing in your car.
  • Ensure tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread.
  • Maintain at least half a tank of fuel.
  • Avoid using cruise control on icy roads.
  • Drive cautiously, accelerating and decelerating slowly.
  • Increase the following distance between you and another vehicle to allow safe stopping.
  • Check your brake system before traveling.

Always check the weather forecast before traveling and inform someone of your plans, particularly for long journeys. Prioritize safety and be prepared to alter plans if adverse weather is expected.

Must-Visit Attractions in the United States

The United States is a treasure trove of diverse attractions for every traveler. Whether you're into historical landmarks, natural wonders, cultural hotspots, or entertainment, the US has an abundance of destinations to explore. Here's a look at some of the best places to visit in the United States:

Hollywood, Los Angeles

Hollywood, nestled in Los Angeles, California, is synonymous with the entertainment industry. Its captivating blend of film history and contemporary celebrity culture attracts visitors. Explore the area's museums, nightlife, and iconic landmarks to get a taste of the lifestyle of the rich and famous.

Las Vegas Strip

The Las Vegas Strip is a hub of excitement and entertainment. Known for its vibrant nightlife, world-class resorts, casinos, and dazzling lights, this famous stretch in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a must-see. It epitomizes the energetic spirit and allure of the city, making it a quintessential stop for those seeking a lively experience.

New York City

Affectionately known as "The Big Apple," New York City is an urban marvel. From the towering Empire State Building to the dynamic Broadway shows, the city is a bustling metropolis of culture, art, and endless activity. New York City's vibrant energy ensures something new and exciting to explore.

The Grand Canyon

Arizona's Grand Canyon is a geological masterpiece. Stretching 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, its colorful layers tell a story millions of years old. The Grand Canyon's North Rim and the more accessible South Rim offer visitors breathtaking views and hiking opportunities, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts.

Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando

Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, is a magical destination for families and Disney fans. It is approximately 40 square miles and features four theme parks, two water parks, numerous hotels, and entertainment complexes. It's a place where fantasy and fun come to life, offering an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

Get an IDP to Explore the United States

Are you eager to explore the iconic sights and hidden gems of the United States of America? Be sure to obtain an International Driving Permit to embark on a delightful journey across this global powerhouse!

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