Drive Safely, from Life in the USA: The Complete Guide for Immigrants and Americans

Life in the USA is a complete guide to American life for immigrants and Americans. All materials on this site Copyright © Elliot Essman 2014. All rights reserved.    Home    Back    Next

Life in the USA
Transportation
The Automobile

Drive Safely
If you operate a vehicle in the United States, safety should come before all other considerations. Almost a hundred automobile accident deaths occur in the United States on an average day. Countless more Americans are injured. A few basic practices can greatly decrease your chance of having an accident.
  • Most Important. Learn the local driving rules and laws. Unfortunately, with the fifty states come fifty different sets of driving rules. As one example, in some states you may make a right turn at a red light after a full stop. In some you may not. In America, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Learn your state and local laws.

  • Pay strict attention to speed limits. These given in miles per hour. Even if you are more familiar with the metric system, your American vehicle’s speedometer will indicate the miles per hour. Get used to this. Some communities have speed-limit signs only in a few places. It is your responsibility to know the limit.

  • Do not let your personality get in the way of your driving. You should always be ready to give up the right of way, even if technically it is yours.

  • Know where you are going. GPS systems are helpful, but if you move to a new American community, it pays to use maps to learn the major streets and boulevards, the interchanges of major highways, the location of various public services, where to park, and so forth.

  • Modify your driving behavior to take weather conditions into consideration, especially in rainy or snowy conditions.

  • Nearly all states allow you to have a drink or even two and still legally drive, but if alcohol affects you inordinately it might not be a very good idea. Know your local “driving under the influence” laws, and make sure to keep on the safe side of them.

Under all circumstances, make sure your automobile insurance is legal and adequate, your vehicle is properly registered with the state motor vehicle office, and that your car is properly maintained.



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