Driving in the USA is not as difficult as you may think so long as it can get over a few things which are initially very different. For example, you’ll notice that in the USA they drive on the right-hand side of the road. And there are a few things that you do need to know about to make the whole experience of driving in the USA a little bit more pleasant.
Obviously you may well be familiar with some of the things we are going to tell you depending on where you’re coming from. If you are from the UK and obviously used to driving on the UK roads where u-turns are illegal. Now in the USA, u-turns are very legal and they are in fact promoted. And they will help you get back on track if you’ve lost your way very quickly in most cases. U-turns will be acceptable unless you see a sign saying no u-turn.
As for four-way intersections, they can be a little bit confusing at first, but once you’ve figured it out, it is quite easy. Basically all of the roads in America are straight lines, you won’t find any roundabouts. So you’ll find straight lines of road or crossing each other at different sections and four-way intersections. The ones which are unregulated or uncontrolled by traffic lights can be a little bit tricky.
For example, if four cars are all coming in here at the intersection from different directions, every car needs to stop. Then the car which got there first has the right to carry on with the journey. The first car is followed by other cars in their respective order. So drivers have to work it out themselves who can go first.
Next up on the list is getting fuel or gas. What is different from in the UK is that when you go to the pumps, the petrol is actually the black pump and diesel is the green pump. In the UK, obviously those are switched around so that can be quite confusing.
One other thing that you need to be aware of is that when you’re getting fuel and want to use cash, you need to go into the kiosk first of all and pay for your fuel. Then you’ll be allowed to fill up. For example, you’re parked in number four and you want to put $50 of fuel, they will authorize that pump to distribute $50 of fuel.
Next thing you need to be aware of is that you can turn right on a red light unless told otherwise. So there are a few things that you need to look out for. When you are turning right, some sections will have signs of no turn on red. Obviously it means you can’t turn right on a red light. Make sure that there are no pedestrians on the sidewalks, or they have finished crossing the road. Then you can turn right on a red light.
We’ve done turning right, now we’re gonna do turning left. It’s very common that you will see two rules of lanes for turning left. Make sure you stick to your lanes because it’s quite easy to drift to one side. Generally on the roads you will see markings for lines that you need to stick to. Sometimes there might just be one lane for left turns other times there may be two lanes, so if you’re turning left with two lanes, make sure you stick to your lane and follow that line all the way around.