It’s time: you’ve finally scored those cheap tickets and you’re setting off on an epic road trip across the US.
It’s a journey which is fraught with uncertainty.
You might be a solid driver, but nothing is as challenging as driving in a foreign country…on the other side of the road.
In Singapore, we have right-hand-drive cars following left-hand traffic (LHT) rules.
In the US, it’s the other way around: left-hand-drive cars following right-hand traffic rules.
Put simply, everything is opposite on the road.
What should I look out for when driving in the US?
If you’ve only driven a right-hand-drive car in countries like Singapore, Malaysia or Australia, chances are you will be initially confused by left-hand-drive vehicles.
However, take a few moments to settle in and familiarise yourself, and you should be good.
Here are some top tips when you need to drive in the US, or any left-hand-drive country:
- Always have your Singapore driving licence on you and apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) via AA Singapore.
- Have the vehicle’s registration and insurance documents in the car with you.
- Take all the time you need to familiarise yourself with the car’s controls. Muscle memory is real – you won’t want to confuse yourself when you’re on the highway.
- Always keep right as oncoming traffic will be coming from the left.
- If you come to a complicated junction, you can follow the car in front of you. If you get too confused, stop for a moment and observe the traffic flow.
- You can turn right on a red light, but remember to first stop briefly.
- Highway exits are on the right, not the left like in Singapore.
- Whoever reaches a junction first gets to go ahead.
- The rightmost lane on US highways is the “slow” lane, with the centre or left lanes only for overtaking. (Keep Right Except To Pass)
- Always get insurance cover for your rental vehicle.