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Driving Tips - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Hints and Tips

When collecting your hire car at the airport make sure you have a full valid driving licence. Without showing your licence you will not be able to hire a car and no refund will be given. Each member that wishes to drive must be present. If you have the new picture driving licence you must also take the written part with it.
The main thing to remember driving in the U.S.A is that they drive on the other side of the road to us. This is easily forgotten when you first arrive, tired and excited.
Once you have received the keys and found your rental car, Please take time to customise yourself with the layout and controls, indicators, windscreen wipers, lights, radio. Make sure the seat is in a comfortable position. Adjust interior & exterior mirrors. It is best to do these things before setting off.
All cars in the USA are automatic and are air-conditioned, if in any doubt about the vehicle please ask a representative of the hire company before driving off. Remember they are there to help you. If you are not used to driving an automatic vehicle remember to put your foot on the brake before putting the vehicle into drive. Only use one foot for operating the accelerator and foot brake pedals. You will not be able to remove the keys from the ignition unless the vehicle is in Park (P)
Once you are happy and have had time to adapt to the lay out of the car you are ready to start your journey and concentrate on the roads and route, which hopefully the owner of your chosen villa will have sent to you prior to your trip.
Many rental cars have automatic door locks when the car reaches a certain speed. If you are not fortunate to have one of these models it is advisable to lock your doors. Do not leave valuables on show in the car, put all maps etc out of site. Do not leave children unattended in the car.
When driving in Florida your driving licence and car rental documents should be carried with you at all times, you may be asked to produce them if stopped. Traffic is slower moving that in the U.K, keep within the speed limit as restrictions apply in Florida as well as in the UK. Police officers do enforce the speed limits by radar checks and if caught speeding you may run the risk of an on the spot fine. If stopped by a police officer do not get out of your car, it is customary for the police to approach you.
Even in the sunshine state it rains, this can come on very quickly and at times is very heavy, it is compulsory in Florida to switch your headlights on when it is raining. If visibility becomes difficult it is advisable to pull over and stop until the storm passes.
Drink driving laws in Florida are rigorous and if caught your rental car insurance will be invalidated. NO ALCOHOL should be carried inside the car, all alcohol must always be placed in the boot.(trunk) out of sight.
When parking in the theme parks or Malls take notice of where you are parked, the car parks are large and always full. A good tip is to tie a thin coloured ribbon around the aerial of the hire car this also entertains the children to see who can find the car first ( It usually is the children). Always drive into parking spaces instead of reversing as US cars only have rear registration plates.
Children under the age of 5 must sit in a child seat this is state law and all passengers must wear a seat belt at all times.
School buses are yellow; these have their own rules, if a school bus stops all traffic must stop in both directions until the bus moves off. Never overtake one that has its lights flashing. Traffic Lights are suspended on wires above the road and can be easily missed when you are used to looking for them on a different level.
Vehicles can overtake on both sides of you on highways, look in both mirrors before changing lanes.
You can turn right on a red light providing the road is clear and you come to a complete stop first unless it states otherwise.
Drive safely and keep your family and party safe

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Page added on: 3 August 2005
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