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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 2791
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 03 January, 2018 - 08:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

My long-anticipated transition to retirement has finally started and I am in the early stages of planning a visit to east Coast USA in the middle of this year to visit long-time family friends in North Carolina and a considerable amount of personal driving will be involved.

I have not driven in the USA since 2002 and I need to refresh my knowledge of US Road Rules/Driving Code before leaving.

I would appreciate advice where I can access current US Road Rules/Driving Codes and whether these apply universally across the USA or individual States have local rules/codes that are also imposed.

In December 1974/January 1975, I purchased a second-hand 1966 Mustang hardtop in San Jose and drove coast-to-coast and border-to-border doing 10,500 miles in 8 weeks which included a short Canadian sojourn from Vancouver to Winnipeg to cross the Rockies before heading to Milwaukee to visit my friends then onto the East Coast before heading South to New Orleans then back through Texas, New Mexico, Nevada to Los Angeles then back to San Francisco before returning home. Great trip with lots of happy memories.

My planned trip will be more leisurely and will be confined to the East Coast most likely from New York to Florida.

Thanks in anticipation - all suggestions, advice and information will be greatly appreciated.
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Mark Luft
Prolific User
Username: bentleyman1993

Post Number: 157
Registered: 10-2016
Posted on Thursday, 04 January, 2018 - 04:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

David, other than the speed limits are in MPH vs KPH, or heights and distances are in FT/IN instead of meters/centimeters, and over here it's drive on the right side instead of left, I think you'll do fine. Some states have right turn on red after stop at red lights. I think everything else is common sense.
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Christopher Williams
New User
Username: christopher_williams

Post Number: 8
Registered: 5-2017
Posted on Thursday, 04 January, 2018 - 05:51 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

If you are not texting and posting to Instagram while driving, you are already doing better than an overwhelming majority of drivers here in the USA.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 2792
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, 04 January, 2018 - 07:14 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christopher,

Using a mobile/cell phone whilst driving is an offence here in NSW and the Government has benefited from a new lucrative source of revenue especially from the younger generations who live on their phones. You can make and receive calls if you have a hands-free Bluetooth device and are not holding the phone at any time. I have a Jabra device that clips onto the sun visor and this will activate calls out using voice commands and incoming calls are answered by a button push on the unit.

Despite this law, I still see numerous drivers using the their phone in my daily trips across Sydney.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 2794
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, 04 January, 2018 - 07:29 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Mark,

I am ambidextrous with regard to imperial/metric dimensions and currency so no problems with understanding road signs. My driving career started with the imperial system and the later transfer to the metric system plus my career as an applied scientist meant I have had continuous ongoing exposure to both systems up to the present day.

Turning on red lights and making "U turns" at traffic lights is one area I have to be careful about as both are illegal whilst driving in NSW and I would hate to be a mobile traffic hazard in US States where these are legal. I have forgotten whether you give way to vehicles on your left or right whilst driving in LHD countries.
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Larry Kavanagh
Prolific User
Username: shadow_11

Post Number: 133
Registered: 5-2016
Posted on Thursday, 04 January, 2018 - 08:32 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi David, At a junction you give way to whoever arrived first, everybody arriving at a junction must completely stop before progressing. If a school bus stops in front of you, you must wait and do not pass it. At a red light you must stop but may then break the light to make a right turn unless there's a sign on the right corner saying that you can't. Pay attention to speed limits at road works because there's a mandatory prison sentence if you injure or kill a road worker. If you fail to keep up to the speed limit drivers behind you will get annoyed, especially truckers who are on a time schedule, they will drive up to your rear bumper & blow their horns. Overall, the roads are good and driving is a doddle. I spent a month driving between Chicago and Georgia and back a few years ago, did about 5000 miles and found no problems. Enjoy your trip.
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Larry Kavanagh
Prolific User
Username: shadow_11

Post Number: 134
Registered: 5-2016
Posted on Thursday, 04 January, 2018 - 08:34 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Forgot to mention David that you may need an international driving licence.
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ross kowalski
Grand Master
Username: cdfpw

Post Number: 689
Registered: 11-2015
Posted on Thursday, 04 January, 2018 - 02:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

David,

Too bad you're not going to get as far north as Boston.

Not only is it legal to drive in the breakdown lane at normal highway speeds but I'd spot you a car for a battle of the hemispheres drag race.

Loser buys winner a pint.
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Omar M. Shams
Grand Master
Username: omar

Post Number: 1386
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Thursday, 04 January, 2018 - 03:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear David,
which way around the world will you travel to get to America? via Europe or the other way?
If I can twist your arm to manage a stop over in Dubai - it would be a delight to host you during your visit.
Thanks
Omar
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 2795
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, 04 January, 2018 - 07:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Larry,

I always travel with an International licence - saves a lot of problems plus it helps with travel insurance claims if problems arise due to vehicle accidents.

The junction rule wasn't in force last time I drove internationally - makes a lot of sense. In NSW, more junctions are being fitted with 4-way "Give Way signs" however the "first to arrive, first to depart" rule hasn't been implemented so the old "give way to the right" rule applies.

Provided I have the right car, I doubt if I will hinder the truckers plus I always keep out of the overtaking lane unless actually overtaking; one of my pet hates are drivers who hog the overtaking lane or refuse to move over when flashed in the European manner.

BTW, are radar detectors legal or illegal?

Ross, we probably will not get as far as Boston this trip but a "Battle of the Hemispheres" has great appeal to this ageing revhead. Australian Rules apply to the beer, must be cold and the loser is entitled to a rematch on their terms [in my case this would be cars with a manual rather than auto transmission to really show our driving skills] .

Omar,

The US trip will not be on a Round The World ticket as we will most likely have my partner's daughter and grand-daughter travelling with us and they will have time limits for work and school reasons. Never fear my friend, I have you locked in for our UK/Europe trip following the US trip as I have to track down my father's side of the family who we have never known as my grandfather was banished to Australia never to return to the UK for reasons my cousins and I have never known and our parents refused to tell us anything about our grandfather who died in his mid-30's leaving our grandmother destitute with 7 children to raise.
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Vladimir Ivanovich Kirillov
Grand Master
Username: soviet

Post Number: 811
Registered: 2-2013
Posted on Friday, 05 January, 2018 - 03:45 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

David never get out of your car if pulled over by US
Police until told to do so. Given the amount of guns drugs and total crazies stateside the US coppers are slightly paranoid so getting shot is a real option.


Put most of your cash in a money belt worn insde your pants and a small amount of cash in a wallet with some id which you can give to any armed robbers. Given the harshness of US welfare you
must expect to be robbed.



Driving in NC is totally different fromNY.
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Robert J. Sprauer
Experienced User
Username: wraithman

Post Number: 12
Registered: 11-2017
Posted on Friday, 05 January, 2018 - 06:32 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

If you disrespect authority anywhere in the world you can expect consequences. If you break laws, expect consequences. If you carry a weapon and threaten a cop...you're finished. Common sense rules.
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Vladimir Ivanovich Kirillov
Grand Master
Username: soviet

Post Number: 812
Registered: 2-2013
Posted on Friday, 05 January, 2018 - 06:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

You don't need to threaten a cop with a gun to be shot dead by a US cop. Only recently an unarmed Australian woman was shot dead by a US cop. That along with countless other shootings of unarmed people in the USA shows commonsense left the situation decades ago.
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Robert J. Sprauer
Experienced User
Username: wraithman

Post Number: 13
Registered: 11-2017
Posted on Friday, 05 January, 2018 - 07:16 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I would rather live here than in Russia.....anyday
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 2796
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Friday, 05 January, 2018 - 07:52 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

The "do not get out of the car, keep your hands still and in view" rule applied back in 1974/75.

No matter where I am in the world, I carry a wallet stuffed with old credit cards, expired drivers licence, old photos and 50USD + the same amount in local currency. The real money and photocopied genuine ID is in a holder under my clothes + change in my pocket.

My previous money belts are now too small due to girth expansion and replacements are being sought.

That said, I have no concerns visiting the USA after 4 trips with the family. Common sense prevails at all times and trouble will find you if you invite unwanted attention by being in the wrong place at the wrong time - this even applies here in Australia.
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Larry Kavanagh
Prolific User
Username: shadow_11

Post Number: 135
Registered: 5-2016
Posted on Friday, 05 January, 2018 - 08:28 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Be wary if you stop at highway service areas, weirdos tend to hang around there. I was propositioned when I stopped for a coffee somewhere near Michigan City but perhaps that's because I'm very handsome!
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ross kowalski
Grand Master
Username: cdfpw

Post Number: 691
Registered: 11-2015
Posted on Friday, 05 January, 2018 - 11:21 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

David,

I always do the same with my wallet, except for the "real money and photocopied genuine ID" part.

Probably better to schedule the battle of the hemispheres at the next get together in England, that way at least the shifters would be on the left.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 2799
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Friday, 05 January, 2018 - 05:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Ross,

Never in England - you cannot trust the weather.

Believe me; one day in May 2002 travelling between London and Canterbury to visit my then brothers-in-law I experienced 4 seasons in one day:

1. Cloud

2. Snow

3. Rain

4. Fog

5. Late afternoon sunshine

No problem with manual shifters either left or right handed. Just need one or two familiarisation runs to get the gate pattern, clutch engagement and break traction points sorted out then time for fun.......

P.S. The beer has to be full strength not low-alcohol "kiddie pop" - with prior notice, I could bring some genuine Aussie examples with me for practice beforehand Drinking.

.
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StevenBrown
Prolific User
Username: stevenbrown

Post Number: 102
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Tuesday, 16 January, 2018 - 08:05 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Sounds like a great trip. The rules and regulations between Canada and America are pretty much the same. Same road signs, etc. Our licensing has a handbook for new drivers. Here is the link:

http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/driving-guides/Pages/Default.aspx
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Alex Peterson
New User
Username: alex_peterson

Post Number: 5
Registered: 2-2017
Posted on Sunday, 28 January, 2018 - 02:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

David, in the 1990s I was caught in the telecoms revolution and my employer offered me good deal to to retire early. I spent 4 years touring the USA in total. my american partner & I traveled in a variety of vehicles as money was a prime consideration, 1976 GMC truck one year , VW Kombi to Alaska another time. I can not add to the suggestions you have received except to say that we traveled as much possible on back roads. we were treated with consideration and respect by the many locals we met with 2 notable exceptions 1)Mexican border patrol and 2) a relative asked me to sign some financial papers.travel slowly & spend time in the national parks/monuments

Enjoy your drive
Alex
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 2823
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, 29 January, 2018 - 08:57 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks Alex,

Your experience has been identical to mine - there are a lot of people in ordinary everyday USA life who learnt a lot about Australia from us and reciprocated by giving us a tremendous insight into US life and beliefs.

My favourite was a classic New York cop who saw the kangaroo and Australia decal on the back of the Mustang and pulled us over to have a roadside chat about the car [1965 Mustangs had rusted out in NY State and were rarely seen on the road in 1975]. Fantastic fellow with a great sense of humour especially when I had to translate some of our colloquial expressions for him - "as dry as a dead dingo's donga", "as low as a snake's belly" and "flat out like a lizard drinking" fascinated him.

Yes the National Parks are gems and will not be by-passed - this trip will be very interesting as my mate lives close to the Smoky Mountains Parkway in North Carolina and there a lot of good boutique/craft beer breweries close to his home so I will be in heaven so to speak .

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