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.
Providence Driving Guide
Providence situated in the state of Rhode Island and the third-largest city in New England. Much emphasis has been placed on redevelopment in an effort to turn Providence into an attractive tourist destination.
The city is filled with beautiful parks, museums and many historical attractions. Perhaps the beauty of Providence is the fact that it can be used as a base to explore the Rhode Island, its surrounds and even further afield.
So hop in your rental car and get driving, some incredible day trips outside Providence await!
Providence to Cape Cod, Massachusetts
1 hour 10 mins (66 miles) (106kms) via I-195 E
The popular east-coast vacation area, Cape Cod, is situated an hour’s drive away from Providence. Not only is the town of Cape Cod filled with regular attractions you would expect in a seaside village, but it offers many other delights, including stunning beaches, whale watching opportunities, open-water cruises, bike tours, markets, excellent restaurants and nightclubs.
The town also has numerous cultural attractions such as the Pilgrim Monument, the John F Kennedy Hyannis Museum, Cahoon Museum of American Art and the Sandwich Glass Museum.
Of course, the views in and around Cap Cod are incredible, and a drive along the highways and smaller coastal roads not only reveal some breath-taking vistas but other hidden gems for you to discover.
Accommodation in Cape Cod is plentiful and varied and includes lodges, inns, motels, hotels, self-catering apartments and bed and breakfast establishments, truly something to suit every budget.
Providence to Block Island
2 hour 15 mins (52 miles) (83kms) via Judith Point - Block Island
A visit to Block Island incorporates a 12-mile ferry trip across to the island itself which adds to the allure of this particular excursion.
Block Island offers many incredible beaches, beautiful ocean views, over 32 miles of hiking trails, top class restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. This hidden gem is also not overcrowded, something many travellers prefer.
Even for those who are not sun worshippers, Block Island is a shopper's delight, with crafts, curios and clothing on offer. Other activities include horseback riding, bird watching, fishing, snorkelling, bike trails, day cruises and sailing opportunities.
Accommodation options on Block Island, should you choose to stay a night (and you probably will), include house rentals, bed and breakfast establishments, guest houses, cottages, inns and hotels.
Providence to Newport
45 mins (34 miles) (54kms) via I-95 S, RI-4 S and RI-138 E
If your travel time is limited, consider the very short day trip to Newport. Known as a venue for the America’s Cup sailing competition, Newport is considered the yachting capital of the world. It has retained much of its old-world charm however and is filled with many gilded mansions. Some of these, including the famous “Breakers”, are now museums and offer a fascinating insight into the life of the rich and famous at the turn of the century.
Newport is filled with many other attractions including Yaquina Head nature area (offering beautiful panoramic views of the coastline), Oregon Coast Aquarium, the Newport Bayfront (with the incredible Yaquina Bay Bridge), Nye Beach (set on the Pacific Ocean), Seal Rock (a magnificent maritime attraction just outside Newport) and various whale watching outlooks.
Accommodation options in Newport offer the full range, from guest houses, self-catering apartments, bed and breakfast establishments, inns, lodges, motels and hotels.
With the money you save on your rental cars at Cheaperthancars and accommodations at Cheaperthanhotels we really do believe you will have more money to do more, when you get there.
Your Cheaperthancars Team
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