Driving in America
There is a link between America and driving a car. A strong majestic pull toward getting on the open road is described countless times in songs. What is it about driving in America that is so unique that it is glorified across many mediums?
“Life Is a Highway…I wanna ride it all night long”
“On the road again…I just can’t wait to get on the road again”
America is large and vast. Getting from point A to point B even within the one state can be difficult without a vehicle. However, America is very well paved, interconnected by roads meant for driving in a car. Because of this, the lifestyle revolves around having a car. Doing simple things such as going to school and the market is done by car in most of the United States. In many places life is not practical without a car and truck to be used on a daily basis.
The other reason a car is a big part of America is because this one country has many beautiful terrains that expands large territories. To get a real feel as to how large, beautiful and different the country is from state to state, you need a car.
For example, taking a road trip from the North West tip of Washington (Blane, WA) all the way down to California is common. You get to see mountains to your left and the ocean to your right the whole way down. Each you pass is different with tons of beauty.
Another common trip is to travel from California across the country to the capital (DC). You can start at the Redwood forest, spend a day in Las Vegas, go down the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and visit the Air and Space museum (and many more) in the United States capital.
If you want to explore a large country, pay attention to how to do it. While Russia has the famous Trans- Siberian Railway, America has the open highway to drive across yourself. The cost of gasoline in the United States is significantly less than in Europe, Canada, UK, Australia, etc.. Another reason why driving is so common, and ingrained in the American lifestyle.
Permission to Drive
In order to legally drive in the United States, you need to have a car with a vehicle registration and insurance. Also, you need a US driver’s license.
If you don’t have a US driver’s license, you can use your native countries’ driver’s license together with your International Driver’s Permit which you need to get from your native country before you trip to the United States.
Getting stopped by the police
When the police ask you to move your car to the side of the road and stop it is called “pull-over”.
Eventually, you will be stopped by a police officer. Don’t panic. It’s common, even if you think you did nothing wrong. Here are a few reasons why you may be asked to “pull-over”:
1. You or the car look like someone who is a suspect of a crime.
2. Going over the speed limit of the road.
3. Windshield is broken, one of the car lights is broken (turn light, brake light, head light).
4. Improper Lane Changes or not signaling before turning.
5. Driving too close to the car in front of you (called “tailgating”).
6. Using your cell phone while driving.
7. And may other reasons.
Just make sure to present:
1. Car registration.
2. Your US driver’s license, or your native country’s driver license along with an international
driver’s permit or international drivers license.
Driving in big cities
Big cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle are a nightmare for the driver. In this case, consider parking your car in a safe location walk around the area. Use your car to travel from one part of the city to another or consider using the public transit system. Most big cities have very good public transportation.
Driving can be a pleasure. The roads are well maintained. The signs are well organized. GPS works very well. The rest is up to you.