What to Know when Travelling the U.S. by Auto

What to Know when Travelling the U.S. by AutoTravelling by automobile can be a wonderful way to tour the United States. While doing so, it is important to know the characteristics of American roadways so you won’t become frustrated on your journey.

Driving Laws

In the United States, automobiles operate on the right side of the road rather than the left. This can be confusing to many European drivers who are accustomed to driving only on the left side. Seat belt laws are mandatory in most states, and there are also laws that require you to place children in special safety seats. In the event you are pulled over by a patrol officer, you must normally show your operator’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of automobile insurance.

Converting Measurements

Speed limits and distances are observed in miles rather than kilometers, so knowing how to convert from metric to English measurements is essential. Likewise, petrol is sold by the U.S. gallon rather than the liter, and this can also frustrating for many people. A kilometer is around .6 of a mile, so if the speed limit is 60 miles per hour, you should be travelling around 90 kilometers per hour. One gallon is approximately 3.8 liters, so buying 15 gallons of fuel should net you around 57 liters.

Road System

The United States has an intricate Interstate highway system that connects cities from coast to coast. Even-numbered highways run in an east-west direction, while odd-numbered ones depict roads that run north-south. Interstate highways are two digit numbers with the exception of bypass highways around major cities. These are three digits each and are usually odd numbered. State highways follow the numbering patterns of Interstate highways, yet these roads are confined to state boundaries. These are typically two lane roads as opposed to Interstate highways, which have at least two lanes running in either direction.

When planning an American road trip, take as much time as you can afford so that you will be able to travel at a leisurely pace. While travelling the US by car, you are bound to meet plenty of friendly people who will welcome you to this wonderful nation.

Picture copyright: Thomas Pyttel – Fotolia