America has some of the most exciting and beautiful journeys and destinations in the world. Each region has its unique opportunities for adventure, and you can find enjoyment just about anywhere.
If you’re planning to visit the U.S. from another country and thinking about doing a little driving while you’re here, you’d better read the following tips to make sure you’re safe, legal, and protected with U.S. car insurance for foreigners.
Safe Driving Tips
For the most part, safe driving tips are universal in every country, but we’ll highlight some safety tips to note for different driving situations in the U.S.
Drive on the Right
It may seem awkward, but in America, we drive on the right side of the road. If you don’t, it won’t take long to get into a head-on collision.
Research Safe Vehicles
The selection of vehicles available for rent in the U.S. will likely be different from what’s available in your country. Check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Association and the Insurance Information Institute for vehicle safety statistics to help you choose the safest vehicle for your needs.
Review Your Route
Before you get started on your drive, review your route. Your GPS will take you turn-by-turn, but it’s a good idea to have a general idea of where you’re going, especially if you’re traveling on unfamiliar roads. If your GPS leads you astray, which can happen for several reasons, you’ll be more likely to notice if you know the direction you should be going.
Slow Down on Icy Roads
If you’re coming from a temperate climate where you don’t deal with icy or snow-packed roads, you’re probably not going to enjoy sliding around on icy roads in the northern part of the U.S. You won’t have to worry about icy roads if you’re visiting Orlando or another southern city.
The key to staying safe on the ice is to slow down and leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles.
Legal Driving Tips
There are many different laws you should know about, and you’ll probably want to spend a little time researching the most important things to understand and follow.
Identify Road Signs
Some road signs serve as warnings, while others indicate requirements. Get familiar with the system of road signs in the U.S. It will be consistent throughout all the states.
Move Over for Emergency Vehicles
If an emergency vehicle has its lights flashing, you need to slow down and move over if it’s safe to do so. For example, if you’re traveling down a four-lane highway and a police car is on the right shoulder with lights on, you should slow down and move to the inside lane if it’s safe to do so.
Wear a Seatbelt
This advice could fit under safety tips, but it also works here since seatbelts are legally required. A seatbelt will help keep you safe if you’re involved in a crash, and not wearing one could result in being issued fines.
Your insurance from your home country probably isn’t going to cover you in the U.S., so here’s what you need to know.
Buy the Insurance
You’ll have an option to purchase car insurance from the rental car agency. You also have another option if you reserve your rental car through a third-party online site. Their insurance option might be cheaper but comparable in coverage to that offered by the rental agency.
Either way, make sure you have coverage. You may be able to get a renter car insurance discount through your personal insurance.
Consider a Collision Damage Waiver
Sometimes called a loss damage waiver, a collision damage waiver is an optional higher level of insurance that ensures you have no financial liability if something happens to the vehicle you’re renting. It’s an extra cost, but it provides great peace of mind.
America has thousands of miles of beautifully scenic roadways, and hopefully, you’ll get to enjoy some beautiful weather and make wonderful memories while driving here.
Melanie Musson writes and researches for the car insurance site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. She enjoys helping others understand their insurance needs so they can protect their current and future financial stability.