If you’re planning on visiting us out here on our glorious island, then you’ll probably already have thought about all the necessary and important things – what to travel with, which clothes to pack, what you’ll see and where you’ll go when you’re with us. But what about some of the more practical elements of vacationing out here? If you’re planning on driving a hire car or other vehicle, it’s good to know what the road safety rules are whilst you stay with us. Here’s what to do (and more importantly, what NOT to do) when you’re driving on vacation in Hawaii.
Driving in Hawaii
Expressways: In the US, don’t be surprised if drivers automatically expect to be let into any gaps in the oncoming traffic, without them stopping – and this is something you need to be wary of and watch for. Keep your wits about you at all times, as lines that are either side of Expressways and Freeways can be used as Exit lanes.
Left turns: Give way to all oncoming traffic before making a left turn at a junction. If there is a green arrow signal at an intersection, you then have right of way, but at all other times you must give way to any other traffic.
Overtaking: You can overtake on the left and right on many routes that have multi lanes. This means, once again, you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled and be fully focused. If you need to change lanes, make sure you indicate, and you’ll find that the vehicle behind should (often times) just let you in.
Accidents: If, by a bad stroke of luck, you happen to be in an accident, stay at the scene, do not leave your car and make sure you obtain the insurance details and name/address of the second party (if there is one). If you don’t do any of this, or you’re found liable for the accident you’ll invalidate your own insurance policy.
Sensible measures while driving in Hawaii
Wear seat belts: Seat belts should be worn by drivers and passengers at all times. Some states require mandatory seat belts in the front seats of vehicles no matter what the age of the passenger is. If you’re travelling with a child under the age of four, they must be in a safety car seat and have a seat belt on.
Always use headlights: Headlights should be on in rain, fog and at dusk. This is important as before, during and after rain road conditions can be slippery and extra hazardous.
Designated alcohol free driver: In the US penalties for drink driving are higher than in a lot of other countries. If you get caught, you’re liable to totally invalidate your car insurance and have your vehicle taken away from you. The onus is on you to find a designated alcohol free driver if you’re planning to have a boozy night out and a car is your only method of being able to get to your holiday property safely.
No cell phones: Like most other countries there can be harsh penalties for using cell phones while driving and it doesn’t matter whether that it solely for texting or talking. Last month, we reported there was already a ban on texting while using crosswalks on the island, but using cell phones behind the wheel has already caused more than 3,000 deaths across the whole of the country in the last year alone.
Never engage with strangers on your journey: If someone stops you to tell you your trunk is open, or that they suspect a door might not be shut properly, or even that your vehicle is on fire, ignore them and do not engage. When it is safe to do so, stop your car, park up and check, but never engage someone who stops you.