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Driving in USA – Recommendations, Tips and Tricks

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24. Curbs along local roads are often painted in different colors. It is strictly prohibited to stop and parking cars on a road with a red curb. Roads with yellow curbs signify that it is possible to pick up and put off passengers, but this should be done very quickly.
25. It is allowed to stop and park a car for a short time next to the green curb, but in no case should one park a car near the blue curb - these are special parking spaces for the disabled. It is also possible to pick up and put off passengers near the white curb.
26. If you see the “STOP” sign on your way, make sure you stop the vehicle completely. You will need to stay there at least 3 - 5 seconds. If you just “pass” the sign by slowly, this can result in a large fine of up to US$80.
27. Unregulated crossroads are crossed in accordance with the following right – the car that came to the intersection first has the right to cross it first. Unregulated crossroads are identified by the signs “4 WAY STOP” or “3 WAY”. If several cars reach the same intersection at the same time, the controversial situation is solved by “winking” headlights or the usual “pass” gesture.
28. It is very profitable to travel by car if you have a big company. If there are more than three passengers in a car, the car gets the privileged status of a «carpool», and so it can ride on a special «carpool lane». Otherwise, driving on this lane is prohibited, and a fine for violating this rule can range from US$300 to US$1000.
29. While driving, it is prohibited to pick up travel companions. In some states this is illegal. If there is a parked car on the side of a deserted road, you shouldn’t stop to help. There are special services for that.

Hints on Car Hire in USA

When choosing a car for your USA trip, don’t forget to check and compare the franchise amount (indicated in the rental conditions) for all cars considered in your selection. The franchise may vary from 200 to 2000 euro/dollars even for cars of the same class. A thorough comparison will allow you to choose the option with the lowest franchise.

During your booking, we will offer you to take a full coverage of the franchise ('No Risk' or 'No Excess' package). If you book a car without full coverage, it is recommended to take it at the pick-up time - this will substantially reduce your financial liability in USA for the whole rental period.

During your car pick-up in USA, do not forget to check what to do in breakdown-, accident- or theft-cases. Most of our offers include 'Breakdown Assistance' package. Besides this, every rental office would be happy to assist you with this package.

Prior to the car return, please check your voucher for the fuel conditions. If it is indicated that a driver shall return the car with a full tank, do not forget to refuel it on the way back, this will save you from additional charges at the rental office.

If you are looking for a car hire in USA, we advise you to check OrangeSmile.com actual rental offers. Just use the orange search form at the top. We guarantee that you would not be able to find better rates anywhere else!
30. The territory of each state has the specified speed limit. It is very simple to find it out - just pay attention to the signs installed along the roads. While driving through a residential area, the speed limit is usually 25-30 mph, and the «freeway» limit is 65-70 mph.
31. Outside the territory of large cities, highways are usually divided into three types - Federal or Interstate Routes (they cross several states), American or US Highways, and State Highways (are located in a certain state only). This division is not formal; as a rule, the higher the status of a highway is, the better its quality is.
32. As a rule, moving directions are divided on federal highways, and each freeway has at least two lanes. Drivers should not move to the side to prevent a violation – road borders have special notches, because of which wheels make a very loud and obnoxious screeching sound.
33. It is possible to enter and leave federal highways only through special ramps (“exit”). All of them have a unique number. Experienced drivers can easily identify the location by these exits – the number of exits is the same with the number of miles on many highways.
34. Each highway also has a unique number. The freeways that lead from north to south have odd numbers, while the freeways, which lead from west to east, have, respectively, even numbers. The number of vertical lines increases in the direction from west to east, and the horizontal - from north to south.
35. Signs with numbers, which are installed on federal highways, also have additional letter signs: «N», «S», «W» and «E». They mean that on this road traffic goes to the north, south, west, and east respectively.
36. In addition to highways and freeways there are so-called toll roads. It is very simple to distinguish them on a map – unlike the rest of roads, they are marked with green. Payments for the use of toll roads are made in special locations close to toll roads.
37. Entering toll roads is recorded – there are special control turnstiles particularly for this purpose. When passing a gate through, you must take a special ticket, which marks the place and the time of your arrival. After that, a turnstile will open and you can continue driving.
38. When leaving a toll road, drivers are required to show the ticket issued earlier. It will help to determine the price for using the road. In this case, the payment can be made both by credit card and in cash.
39. One more important factor – exceeding the maximum permitted speed on toll roads is prohibited, even if there are no police. The time of entering and leaving a toll road is clearly recorded. This means that officers will have no difficulty in calculating the average speed of any vehicle.
40. Parts of roads that are adjacent to major cities are considered the most difficult ones. They are distinguished by a large number of furcations and numerous shields installed along the roads. Inexperienced drivers should move slowly on such road sections as there’s a risk of missing the right exit. Otherwise, you can lose a lot of time searching for a suitable place to turn back. Returning to a missed exit will be not easy.
41. All the federal roads are equipped with special service areas, which are usually located on both sides of a highway. Cars are allowed to enter these service areas only if they don’t cross the route of cars moving in the opposite direction. Each direction has its own service area. Sometimes the areas can be located between the opposite lanes – this happens when service areas are shared.
42. A service area is not only a place where drivers can fill the tank. There is also a special parking lot where motorists can stop their cars and get some rest. Quite often there are even small shops and fast food restaurants in service areas.
43. Do not confuse service areas with the information service as it provides services of another nature. This is the place where one can get information about interesting sights, hotels and other tourist facilities, as well as purchase a map of local roads. Car repairs centers are usually located in suburbs of big cities.
44. Drivers can relax not only in service areas, but also in a so-called "green zone". A green zone is a small parking lot, near which you will find free toilets and vending machines for drinks and snacks, as well as a real green area with benches suitable for a comfortable stay.
45. Motorists should remember that fuel is not distinguished by the octane number at local gas stations. Each brand of gasoline has its own name: «Premium» (premium fuel), «Regular» (a common and the most popular type of fuel), and other types.
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