Driving In Houston
Driving in a city that you're not familiar with can be a nerve-racking experience! It can be hard enough just navigating around Houston, never mind the driving laws and speed limits, without even thinking about the fact that you might be on the wrong side of the road if you're an international visitor.
HoustonCarRental.net are here to make sure your time spent in Houston is remembered for all the right reasons. So, to help customers on vacation in our city, we've put together a guide to driving in Houston and throughout Texas using our local knowledge of what to expect from the drivers here and information about state laws in Texas.
Things To Remember When You Drive In Houston
Here are a few tips for safe driving in Houston:
Because Houston is a city located in America, few denominations are different from the British names. Seatbelts are called safety belts. All the passengers who are at least 17 years old are required by law to wear the safety belt, no matter if they sit in the back seats or in the front seats. Kids who are under the age of 8 and under the height of 4.9 feet (1.45 meters) must be secured in place with an appropriate safety belt. There is no reason why you shouldn’t wear the safety belt and you could receive a citation if you’re caught by the police.
The speed limit in Houston is set to 30 mph (48 km/h). However, if you’re traveling on alleys or residential areas you are prompted to reduce the speed down to 15mph (24km/h). Outside urban areas around Houston you are allowed to step on the gas up to 6mph (96km/h). On motorways the limit is set to 70mph (112 km/h). In Houston the local authorities may have changed the speed limits in order to increase the public safety, that’s why you should keep your eyes opened for road signs. There even might be differences between the speed limit during the day and the speed limit during nighttime.
Winter Driving Tips
Many drivers don’t realize how dangerous it is to drive in winter around Houston. Here are some advices you should take into account. If the weather seems to be rough, equip your wheels with a pair of traction chains. Always keep a safe distance from the driver ahead of you. Make sure you have enough windshield cleaning solution in order to keep the visibility clear. Soon after the car is in motion try to test how much grip you have by testing the brakes. Make sure you do this at low speeds and only when there’s no car behind you.
Not only in Houston but in the entire Texas you are considered legally intoxicated if you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more. For minors the tolerance is zero, meaning that any driver younger than 21 who has even the smallest amount of alcohol in his/her blood will be forced to pay a fine up to $500. The use of drugs is another major problem in Texas, that’s why police often stops drivers to check if everything is alright and if they don’t own any illegal materials. Don’t risk your license and even your life by drinking or taking drugs.
As you probably know, in America they use the right side of the road to drive forward. For most of the drivers this is something usual, but for UK drivers might be a bit tricky. They also use a different name for the ‘give way’ term: right-of-way. In all unmarked junctions and intersections you must give the right-of-way to vehicles coming from your right. Most of the road signs are identical with the ones around the world, like the hexagon for STOP and the red reversed triangle for giving the right-of-way. The speed limit indicators often have the word ‘MPH’ under the number.