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Driving Safety

Buckle up and turn the headlights on! Driving in the U.S. can be just as dangerous as driving anywhere else, and the laws are sometimes very strict. Stay safe. Obey the laws. Don't give Smokey a reason to pull you over.

Public Transit | Driver's License | Buying a Car | Auto Insurance | Renting a Car | Driving Safety Tips
If you plan to drive while you're in the United States, you'll need to become familiar with the driving regulations for your state. While the "rules of the road" are fairly similar from state to state (and, to a lesser extent, from country to country), some states have regulations that are very different from other states.

While the best source for current information about driving regulations for where you live is your state's DMV publication, here are some things to keep in mind wherever you are.

  • Always carry your license, automobile registration and proof of auto insurance (in those states which require auto insurance) while driving.

  • Obey all traffic signs and observe local speed limits. Be sure that you are familiar with speed conversions, especially if you are driving a car that has both miles-per-hour and kilometers-per-hour on the speedometer.

  • Driving after drinking alcohol is always dangerous. If you are caught driving while legally drunk (a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater in most states) you can be heavily fined or imprisoned. In the most serious cases, international students driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs could be deported.

    Note: Be careful to check the labels of certain medications; they can make you too drowsy to drive safely, and if you are caught driving in such a state, you could suffer similar punishments as when driving drunk.

  • Only park in designated parking spots and at designated times.
  • Carry jumper cable for your battery, especially if you bought an old car. They only cost $25 - $50 but if your battery dies, you may need them if someone is willing to help you get your car started again.

  • Carry flash light in the car.

  • Buy an in-car security device such as a steering wheel lock.
One of the best resources for drivers in the United States is The American Automobile Association (AAA or "Triple A"). Membership in Triple A, includes many benefits for your automobile, home, and travel needs.

Triple A provides:

  • emergency roadside services including towing, flat tire change, battery charge, emergency fuel delivery, locksmith service, minor emergency mechanical aid, etc.
  • excellent maps
  • recreation information and services
  • discount hotel and motel offers
  • travel arrangements
  • insurance for automobiles, boats, home, and travel
  • auto repair programs
  • automotive information center
  • making key card for your car's key
Renting a Car | | Health & Safety
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