Road regulations in the US do not differ much from European ones. However, minor differences exist. Driving on America’s roads is relatively easy. If we are already accustomed to a large number of lanes. Stop signs at every smaller intersection and speed limits, there is little to surprise us. The Americans are very kind on the road and there is a high driving culture. The roads are very well marked and even without GPS navigation, we will easily reach most locations.

Highway In Los Angeles

In this article, we present the most important differences between American and European  road regulations.


Driving Rules in USA – Crossroads: first come, first served – Stop Sign

Driving rules in Usa-Crossroads Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills

Arriving at the intersection with STOP sign on all sides, which in America is probably the most in the worldyell. We must stop and wait for a few seconds. American police are very restrictive in respect of this provision. If you do not stop properly, and it will be seen by a police patrol. You will get a ticket. The vehicle that arrived at the intersection first has priority pass.

Driving Rules in USA – Shared left turn lane

Driving rules in Usa-Shared left turn lane

This is marked by yellow lines and a central lane that allows us to turn left. We can also use it by turning left from a subordinate road. In case of heavy traffic, in order not to create a traffic jam after turning left, we stop at this zone and wait for the possibility of safe joining the traffic.

Driving Rules in USA – Turning right at the red light

Driving Rules in USA-Turning right at the red light

In the United States, you can turn right at a red light, unless there is a sign with the inscription “NO TURN ON RED“. However, in New York City this is illegal.

Driving Rules in USA –Passing from the right side

Driving rules in USA-Los Angeles Highway

On multi-lane roads you can drive any lane. Passing the right lane is allowed if  other signs do not prohibit it. The left lane is a fast line, as it is in Europe.

Driving rules in USA – School bus in the USA

Szkolny autobus USA

If the school bus stops, turns on the flashing lights and the stop sign. Cars behind the bus as well as those going from the opposite side have to stop. Penalties for not respecting this provision are very high.  You have to also stop immediately, when you hear an ambulance coming on the signal, even if it goes in the opposite direction and on the opposite side of the road.

HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lub Carpoll Line

Driving rules in Usa-HOV in Los Angeles

This is the left lane on a multi-lane road intended exclusively for cars with at least two people and public transport vehicles. Sometimes you can only use it at certain hours.

Signs on the road USA

In some places the left lane changes into a Toll lane called the Express Line. The car is identified by the cameras by the licence plate. The fee will be charged to your credit card after returning the car to the rental company. Some such lanes are designed for cars with a special transponder. If you use such a lane without such a device, you may be charged a penalty fee which car rental company will charge your credit card. In the USA There are several different companies managing the toll systems.

Driving Rules in USA-Express Line Sign

Driving rules in USA – Pulled Over By The Police

– If a police officer asks you to pull over, or is running lights directly behind you, pull over immediately        and stop on the side of the road

– DO NOT get out of the car

– Roll down your driver’s side window

– Keep your hands visible on the steering wheel.

– Don’t speak first

– Make no sudden movements as it could be considered suspicious.

– Keep license and registration in a convenient location so it is easy to access.

– When you move your hands, tell the officer that you are getting your license, registration, and proof of insurance.

– Follow any orders given by the officer.

Droga w stanie Utah

Road Infrastructure in the USA

The road infrastructure is quite old, but despite this driving in America is a pleasure. Driving is less stresful than in Europe. There are a lot of speed limits everywhere. Speed limits are respected by virtually all drivers . After some time, everyone get used to them. Police usually turn a blind eye if we’re driving a few miles faster than the allowed limit.

 USA Roads
 USA Roads

Traffic jams on US roads

The network of highways is very well developed, but traffic jams are unfortunately the everyday life of American cities. In America, everything must be the biggest even traffic jamswink. However, driving through interstate roads is very nice and you can also admire beautiful views.

Korki na drodze w USA

Traffic Jams – Los Angeles

Korki w San Francisko

Traffic Jams-San Francisko

California Road