Planning a trip to the United States can be exciting but also, as with visiting any new country, a bit stressful. While you won't have to worry about the people, as citizens of the U.S. are quite welcoming, you will need to concern yourself with how you travel.
Your best option might be to hire a driver, such as an Uber or taxi, to get you to and from your various points. However, this can be a cost that adds up quickly, and if you're on a tight budget but require extensive traveling, you may find renting a vehicle and driving yourself is your only option.
There are a few things you should know before having a skillful drive in the United States. Traffic rules and laws are very clear, but they can also vary widely from state to state.
1. Auto Insurance Required
No matter what state you are driving in, you are required to purchase auto insurance. You can find temporary car insurance for foreign drivers. Insurance is only required for the people who will be operating the vehicle, and more than one person may be listed on the same policy. If you hire a driver to transport you, you do not need auto insurance.
2. Stop for School Buses
Again, regardless of what state you travel in, one thing all Americans do is stop for school buses whether they are loading or unloading children. If you see a school bus with red lights flashing, do not pass it from behind. You also do not pass it from the opposite direction. Simply stop and wait until the red lights at the top of the roof are no longer flashing.
3. Buckle Up
Nationwide, drivers are required to use seatbelts. Any person sitting in the front seat is also required to buckle up. If there are children traveling with you, they may be required to be seated in the back seat depending on age and size.
Smaller children are required to be safely secured in a car seat, but to what age will vary by state. To get specific seat belt laws, check with the transportation department of the state you plan to visit. Not properly following state laws can lead to costly fines.
4. Traffic Signs
While traffic signs will look very similar if not exactly alike from state to state, laws regarding the flow of traffic will vary. In all states, drivers drive on the right side of the road. Maximum speed limits will vary. Whether or not you can turn right on a red traffic light will vary. The minimum driving age will slightly vary. Most states offer a guide to their traffic laws.
Check the website of the state's transportation department for which you will be visiting and familiarize yourself in advance. You may find they are very similar to your home country's laws and require little adjustment.
If you have a license to drive in your home country, you should have no issues with driving in the United States. While laws will vary from state to state, overall they are similar enough that you should be able to quickly adjust when you cross over state lines by simply following the traffic signs.