Understanding The Difference Between Driving In The USA And UK

Small Towns in America

If you’re a Brit who is planning on travelling to the U.S. soon, you might find that it is essential to have a car. The USA has many charming towns and sites to enjoy, and depending on the area you are planning to visit, having your own transport could be important in order to make sure that you get the most from your trip. In cities such as New York, it’s usually easier to get around using the public transportation systems, however, if you’re planning to visit somewhere such as Los Angeles, you’ll find that having your own vehicle is essential if you want to get around. We’ve put together some of the main ways in which driving in the U.S. differs from driving in the UK.

Learning To Drive On the Right

Americans drive on the right side of the road, which means that the steering wheel is on the left of the car. When you drive in the U.S. for the first time, this can often feel a little unnatural as essentially, you’re doing things in a mirror image of how you normally would. Thankfully, most American cars will be an automatic gearbox, so you won’t need to worry about getting used to changing gears with your right hand instead.

USA Highway Codes

The highway code in the U.S. is similar in many ways to that of the UK, which you can find learning materials for at TopTests.co.uk. However, when driving in the U.S., you will definitely notice a range of differences, for example different road signs, markings, and colour meanings. If you’re planning to travel to the U.S. soon and expect to be hiring a car whilst you’re there, it’s a good idea to learn a little about the signs and markings on American roads in order to be able to understand what they mean whilst driving.

USA Driving Age Requirements

Although the minimum age for learning to drive in the U.S. is 16, new drivers will have to wait a few years before they will be old enough to hire a car. When hiring a car in the U.S., you will usually have to be over the age of 21 or in some cases, 25. If you’re younger than 25, make sure that you’re old enough to hire a vehicle from the car company.

Stop Lights

In the UK, a red stop light indicates for drivers to stop, and stay there. However, when driving in the U.S., drivers are given a little bit more freedom to use their own discretion when behind the wheel. According to the U.S. highway code, you are able to turn right at a stop light, providing that it is safe to do so even if the light is showing red.

DUI Is Taken Seriously In The USA

Driving under the influence of alcohol is taken very seriously in the U.S., and it is an offence to merely have an open container of an alcoholic liquid in your vehicle in most states, even if you’re not drinking it. Getting caught DUI could result in arrest or loss of your license.

Know Before You Go

Brits expecting to drive in the U.S. should make sure they know what to expect first.