Florida Guide > Travelling
Driving in Florida (10)
If this is your first visit to Florida you may be worried about driving, with different laws, bigger cars, the steering wheel on the wrong side, driving on the opposite side of the road. This article is written to try and guide you through the process, helping you and your family to have a safe, relaxed and enjoyable experience.
Before departure check that you are in possession of your full drivers licence, both parts the photo card and the paper record will be required. You will need to produce them when you pick up your rental vehicle. Carry your licence, along with the rental documents issued with the vehicle, with you at all times when using the rental vehicle.
On picking up the vehicle you will find it will almost certainly be automatic. Before moving off, take a quick walk around the vehicle to make sure there are no bumps or scrapes, if there are, report them to the rental staff. Make sure you are fully familiar with the car before you leave the car hire area. This includes checking seat and mirror adjustment, how to operate lights, indicators, horn, windscreen wipers, boot and door locks. If you have any problems clarify with staff.
You would have been given directions to your villa or hotel prior to travel, make sure that you know where you are going, your first decision could be do you leave the airport by the North or South Access Road. If you were not issued directions, you will find that the car hire representative would be very helpful issuing small maps and pointing you in the right direction. Be aware before you move off of the route you are taking.
Follow the route given to you, it will be along main roads, it may not be the quickest but it would have taken into account numerous things such as strange car, tiredness after a long flight, possible dusk or dark conditions depending on time of year.
You will notice at junctions road name signs suspended above your carriageway. These are the names of the road you are crossing and not the road you are on. The road numbers generally follow the principle of odd numbers going North to South and even numbers going East to West.
There are few laws you should be aware of most are common sense. Do not drink and drive, penalties are harsh and it is closely monitored. Abide by the speed limits; if workers are present on or near the road, the limit may be lowered. Seat belts must be worn and children three and under must be in a child’s seat. Never over take a stationary school bus with its red lights flashing. This also means stop if you are travelling towards the bus on a single carriageway. School buses always run with orange lights flashing this is just to give warning.
Another thing different than the UK is traffic lights. You can treat a red traffic light as give way if you are turning right. This means, you must come to a complete stop, wait a couple of seconds then treat it as a give way, allowing vehicles travelling under a green light to have the right of way. The traffic light sequence is the same as in the UK other than they do not have the red and orange together, it goes straight from red to green.
If involved in an accident you must telephone the Police and obtain a police report.
After reading this you may start to worry about driving in Florida – DON’T.
In my opinion driving in Florida is much less stressful than driving in the UK. Firstly the speed limit is generally lower and the majority tend to drive within it. The roads are more often bigger and clearer than here. Parking is very easy with ample parking spaces, which, other than the theme parks, are normally free of charge.
This is only a guide to assist you with driving in the USA. If you have any concerns about driving check them out before you go. The General Enquiries Page on this sites forum would normally be able to answer the majority of questions related to travelling.
Enjoy your vacation – Including the driving.
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Page added on: 19 March 2007
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