Driving In the US – Essential Tips You Must Know Before Hitting The Road!

Exploring the USA on a road trip is possibly the best way to experience the marvels this country has to offer. Decked with massive well-maintained roads, precise signage and a huge number of places to visit, I loved driving in the USA for the first time. It was too liberating and rewarding an experience! To be honest, the thought of driving around California made me nervous at first, but you guys know, your girl is always ready for new adventures to dive into! Thus, I’ll let you into a secret – if I can do it, you can too.

71831617_566754830759284_4404612692786017480_n.jpgOn the iconic Highway 1 in California

That said, coming from India, driving sitting on the left seat was something completely new to me. Luckily, my maternal aunt lives in the USA who helped me in the initial stage in learning some new stuff that I had to keep in mind. In this post, I’m going to share what I’ve learned during my road trip across California from the perspective of an Indian driver. These tips and tricks are going to be very handy and helpful for those who are going to drive in America – even if it’s not for the first time.


You should stay in the far right lane unless you try to pass another vehicle. Even if you overtake a slowly moving car, return to the center or right lane.


While changing the lanes, keep 5 to 6 seconds of space between your car and the vehicle in front of you. Keep your speed constant while checking the rear-view & side-view mirrors. Turn around very slightly to also check your blind zone. Use your turn signal for the indication & move the steering wheel slightly to move into the next lane by not making any drastic movement.


The maximum speed limit on most California highways is 65 MPH. But observe all posted speed limits for each area and road types. Refer to the weather conditions like fog, rain, roadblocks, diversions, construction signals, etc. that may require you to drive at lower speeds.

Also read: Pacific Dunes Ranch & Solvang: The Perfect Pit Stops On A Road Trip In California!


You must not drive if you’re over the legal blood alcohol limit at or above 0.08%. You must take a halt at every STOP sign and for the stopped school buses and a flashing light and a stop sign. Seat-belts must be worn at least by the driver and the front-seat passenger.


It’s quite a straightforward process where every machine has a debit/credit card reader & you must pre-authorize the card, fill up the tank as per your need, the bill will be provided and you’re good to go! Fuel stations are open for 24 hours but the office shuts after the working hours. The credit card payment option is the most convenient. However, you may need to enter a zip code at the pump and that won’t work if you have a foreign address, then you will have to use cash in that case.


The most popular road-trip route in California is the Pacific coast highway that takes you from San Francisco to San Diego. San Jose, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Big Sur, San Simeon, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Malibu, Los Angeles are some incredible stops on the route. Other classic routes are Redding to Lassen Volcanic National Park, Highway 1 from San Fransisco to Fort Bragg, Napa Valley’s Silverado Trail, Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park.

Also read: Yosemite National Park – A Must-Have In Your USA Travel Bucket-list!

If you want to know more about how I rented my car, signed up for an insurance, refueled it and had a great experience while on a road trip in the US, watch the video below right away!

I hope these tricks will help you to make your mind go on a road trip to California and trust me every bit of your effort is worth it! Happy road-tripping! 🙂

realize our actions will have consequences and most importantly, travel by respecting the environment.(13).png

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