Road Safety in Hawaii are not much different than anywhere else on the World. But travellers need to be prepared for heavy traffic in and round Honolulu, specially during rush hours. Below we have listed some important rules that may differ from your home country.
- LEFT TURNS AT JUNCTIONS Never make a left turn at a junction without first giving way to all oncoming traffic. Some intersections have a green arrow signal. Only a green arrow gives you the right of way – a normal green light does not.
- OVERTAKING ON THE LEFT AND RIGHT On most multi lane routes you can overtake on the left and the right. This calls for greater lane discipline but you are very unlikely to find the sort of moronic behaviour that you see on British Motorways. When you want to change lanes, INDICATE and you will find that the vehicle behind will let you in.
- TRAFFIC JOINING EXPRESSWAYS It is common practice in the US for drivers joining Expressways to expect to be let into gaps in the traffic without stopping. Access lanes can quickly become exit lanes on some roads, so please be careful!
- EXIT LANES ON EXPRESSWAYS On Expressways and Freeways the lanes on either side can be EXIT lanes. If your Route is carrying you straight through then stay in the MIDDLE LANES to avoid meeting the sign that says “THIS LANE MUST EXIT”.
- EXIT MARKERS ON EXPRESSWAYS Unlike British Motorways there is no series of countdown signs warning that there is an exit coming. Keep your eyes peeled!
- SCHOOL BUSES Please note that you are not allowed to overtake a yellow school bus from either direction on a two-way street when it is stationary with flashing red lights.
- ACCIDENTS Your Rental Agreement states that if you are involved in a road accident, you must remain at the scene and call the Police. If you fail to do this, or are found liable for the accident, Dollar will cancel your Rental Agreement and are not obliged to supply you with a replacement vehicle.
Sensible Precautions when driving
- SEAT BELTS All passengers should wear seat belts at all times. Florida law requires seat belts for all front seat passengers, regardless of age. Children up to the age of four are required to be in a safety car seat. Children aged four and five must be in a safety seat or wear a seat belt. California law requires seat belts for all rear passengers as well.
- HEADLIGHTS Turn on your headlights at dusk, in fog, or in rain (mandatory in Florida). Be especially careful while driving during or after rainfall. Slippery road conditions can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- DRINK DRIVING U.S. Drink Driving laws are stricter than the U.K. and we recommend If you plan to drink, to take along a designated driver who will remain alcohol free. Please note that a Drink Driving offence would invalidate your car insurance and mean that your car would be taken away by Dollar.
- PLAN YOUR ROUTE Use a map to plan your route before you venture out. Good maps of most local areas in the USA are available cheaply from most British book shops, or from the lobby kiosk/gift shop at most of our hotels. Plan your route carefully. If you’re uncomfortable about travel to, or through a particular neighbourhood, ask our Representative or at your hotel front desk for safety pointers.
- LOCK YOUR DOORS If you find yourself in an area that makes you feel ‘uncomfortable’ keep your doors and windows locked.
- ON YOUR JOURNEY Do not respond to strangers telling you that “Your trunk is open” or “on fire”. If your car is “bumped” by someone only stop at a public area such as a petrol station before exchanging insurance details. Never take “short cuts” unless you are familiar with the area that you will driving through.
- SECURITY Always lock your vehicle. Lock valuables in the trunk, glove box or luggage compartment so they are out of sight. Secure your valuables: Jewellery, cash, cameras and travel documents in your hotel safe. Only take necessary valuables when travelling.
Traffic regulations in the USA are in general just like anywhere in the world. (Depending where you live: In the USA they drive on the right side of the road.) Every US state has it own legislation and laws and what is legal in one one state might be illegal in another. There are however some regulations with are valid for most states.
Turn on red
When approaching a traffic light you are allowed to make a right turn even when the signal is red. But before you do so you must come to a full stop and check that there is no traffic on the intersection. Of cause when you see a NO TURN ON RED sign you must stop and wait for the traffic light to become green.
4 way stops
At many crossings (and also at T-junctions) you will see a red Stop sign with a smaller “STOP 4 WAY” sign. In that case you have to come to a full stop and give way to cars already waiting at the intersection. They you may proceed. So basically the rule is “first in, first out”. When two cars arrive simultaneously the right of way goes to the car on the right.
Keep your Lane
No lanes are designated as either “slow” or “fast”. However, some motorway signs ask slower drivers to use right lanes. Drivers can overtake you on the inside. Overtaking from either lane is permissable as long as you check and the lanes are clear (not in Canada).
What do those street name signs mean that hang over the road
They indicate the name of the road that you are crossing, not the one you are travelling on. When you approach a junction with a flashing yellow light that hangs over the road, it means usually proceed with caution. If they flash red it means stop and treat it like a “4 way stop”.
A lane in the middle of the road with the arrows going left and right
Many roads without a central reservation have a lane in the middle that allows a driver to enter if they intend to turn left across the other carriageway. Check that the lane is clear and enter the lane using your indicator. Do not use this lane to overtake other vehicles.