What to do if
A road trip is a great way to see the States and hopefully it will be memorable for all the right reasons. Just in case, here’s what to do should something go wrong.
What to do if you breakdown
- If you get a flat tyre or suffer a mechanical problem, pull over to the right-hand side of the road, and turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
- Your hire car should be equipped with reflective triangles as standard. Place them in the road behind the car if it is safe to do so.
- Hire cars should come with some level of breakdown cover as standard. Check your car hire documentation for details of who to call in the event of a breakdown.
What to do if you have an accident
- If you are involved in an accident, it is vital that you stop and do not drive any further. Leaving the scene could mean that you are committing an offence.
- If anyone has been injured, call an ambulance and the police immediately on 911.
- If no-one is hurt but the accident has damaged yours or the other driver’s car, swap details with the other driver and then let your car hire firm and the police know as soon as possible, just like in the UK.
What to do if you are stopped by the police
- If you are stopped by the police when driving in the USA, pull over as far to the right-hand side of the road as is safe, as soon as you can. Stay in the car and turn on your hazard lights.
- If traffic is heavy and there is nowhere to stop, you are allowed to turn into a side street and then stop, but make sure you use your indicators to clearly signal what you are doing.
- Don’t cause suspicion by making any sudden movements at any point, or reaching for anything in the glove box/under your seat.
- Roll down your window and, if it’s dark, turn on your interior lights.
- Be polite and follow any requests or orders from the police officer.
Checklist for driving in the USA
- Full and valid driver’s licence
- Proof of insurance
- Car rental agreement
- Passport/national ID
- Warning triangles
Be sure to check out our other driving abroad guides:
Looking for something else?