Driving Tips for U.S.
Driving in a foreign country can be daunting, especially if you don’t know the rules. If you’re planning on driving while in the United States, read the basics guidelines below.
You’ll need to bring your driver’s license and proof of insurance. Check with your insurance company to see if it will cover you for driving in a foreign country; otherwise, you will need to purchase insurance when you rent a car. The U.S. Government recommends you bring an International Driver Permit (IDP). The IDP is just a translation of your license into 10 languages; you must get an IDP in your home country before leaving, as the U.S. doesn’t issue them to tourists from other countries.
In the United States, laws vary by state, including the standard driving age. For instance, New Jersey makes kids wait until they are 17 to receive a license, while South Dakota allows kids as young as 14 to have a driver’s license (though it is restricted). On average, the legal age for a licensed driver is 16-years-old (or 16 ½), but check the laws for the states you’ll be traveling in to find out the legal age. Also, keep in mind that most rental companies won’t rent to young adults under 21 and have steep fines for those over 21 but under 25, so check with your car rental company for age restrictions.
Driving Rules and Regulations
- Drive on the right hand side of the road
- Give way to other cars on the left hand side of the road
- Always use indicator while turning
- Always give priority to emergency services vehicles
- Everyone in the car must be wearing a seatbelt
- Except hands-free system, mobile phones should not be used
- Illegal to carry radar detectors
- Always carry license while driving
- Should obey traffic signs
- Pedestrians generally have the right-of-way
Speed Limits and Fines
Speed limits also vary, but they are posted on roads in miles per hour. The normal speed limits on US roads are as follows:
- 113 km/h (70 mph) on highways
- 40 km/h (25 mph) in residential areas
School zones and construction zones often have lower speed limits posted, and fines can double or even triple in these zones. Fines can range anywhere from $30 up to $500, depending on where you are.
Drunk driving is illegal in all 50 states, defined as a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08mg/ per 100ml. However, you can incur increased penalties with higher BAC, from 0.15 to 0.25, depending on the state. It’s best not to risk it, as you can receive a hefty fine (up to $2,000) and possibly jail time. You also may need to go before the court on a charge such as Driving Under the Influence, which is not something you would want to deal with while on vacation.
Be aware of "no parking" signs. Generally, parking on the street will be marked, such as “2 Hour Parking.” However, never park at a red curb, as those are restricted to emergency vehicle use. Also, pay attention to places you need to pay for parking; your car can be towed if you park without paying.
Though laws vary by state, you’ll find that many laws are similar across the U.S. Most roads are well-marked, so you should do just fine on your next road trip if you pay attention to the road signs.
Miami Driving Guide - Spend less, do more
“Bienvenido a Miami”, welcome to the “Magic City”, the city that it is said, never sleeps!
Set on the east coast of the United States, Miami is the capital of the state of Florida. The city itself is an extremely popular tourist destination and a regular stop for many cruise ships.
Although there is much to see and do in Miami, many excellent tourist destinations can be found outside of the city itself. This gives you a perfect reason to get into a rental car and explore the rest of the state of Florida.
Miami to the Florida Everglades
54 min to Florida Everglades (42.4 miles) (68kms)
The Florida Everglades comprise a massive subtropical wetland, mostly featuring sawgrass marshes but including numerous other ecosystems. These include cypress swamps, marine salt water areas, and mangrove forests to name a few.
One of the main attractions in the area, the Everglades National Park is visited by over 1 million people each year. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other than the fauna and flora to admire in the park, numerous other activities include hiking trails, boating trips and fishing. Many of the hiking trails take place on Pine Island such as the Anhinga Trail, a self-guided tour. This tour allows you to see a wide variety of animals from the region, including alligators, turtles and many bird species. Other popular pursuits in the Everglades are camping, water sports and birding trails.
Everglade accommodation is varied and consists of camping areas, self-catering, hostels, motels and hotels.
Miami to Key West
3 h 17 min (164.6 miles) (264kms)
The drive from Miami to Key West along the “Overseas” highway is one of the most beautiful and scenic in the world. The highway itself interlinks numerous small islands throughout the Florida Keys.
Key West is a small island city. It is renowned for its beautiful sunny beaches and coral reefs and is a favoured destination for scuba diving and snorkelling. If you prefer not to enter the ocean but to shop, a visit to Duval Street should be high on your agenda. This area is frequented by many cruise ship guests and comprises numerous shops, restaurants and other attractions.
Of course, as a coastal town many activities focus on beach pursuits such as swimming, surfing, kiteboarding, kayaking and fishing. Other attractions include the Ernest Hemingway Museum, the southernmost point in the United States, the Dry Tortugas National Park, the Maritime Museum and the Key West Aquarium, truly something to suit every taste.
Key West accommodation, like most of the Florida region, includes backpacker lodges, hostels, self-catering units, motels and hotels.
Miami to Marco Island
1 h 52 min (106.0 miles) (170kms)
It is said that Marco Island is the town that people from Miami go to for their holidays. Situated on the east coast of Florida, Marco Island is a vibrant, small city-island sitting in the Gulf of Mexico and connected to the Florida mainland by bridges. The city is filled with numerous restaurants, resorts and shopping malls.
Other attractions include sun soaked beaches, sports fishing, water-sports, cycling, eco-tours, numerous golf courses and shell collecting at the five-mile long crescent shaped beach just outside the city. For lovers of wildlife, the area around Marco Island is filled with many bird species. These include herons and the majestic osprey, while dolphins and manatee swim in the tranquil waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Of course, with so much to see you might need to extend your stay in the area. Marco Island accommodation has it all, from luxurious hotels fit for the rich and famous to more affordable guesthouses, motels or even resorts.
At Cheaperthancars and Cheaperthanhotels we offer great deals on a wide range of choices for both rental cars in Miami and accommodations. We believe that the less you spend, the more you can do when you get there with your hard earned cash.
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