One of the best ways to see America is the fly drive. America is built around the motor car and few other countries are as well equipped for the motoring tourist as the United States. Travelling from state to state, staying in motels and seeing the vastness of America is an experience you’ll treasure, but to ensure you make the best of your trip, it is worth taking note of a few tips.
Plan your route
While taking to the open road gives a wonderful sense of freedom, if you don’t plan your route before you set off each day, you could end up going back on yourself or miss some great sightseeing opportunities. Where possible, plan a circular route as you will get to see more locations and not run the risk of going back and forth.
Set a daily mileage limit
Driving can be tiring and spending all day behind the wheel may soon become a chore. Set a daily limit of how far you intend to travel, perhaps no more than 200 miles. In addition, plan to arrive at a destination by lunchtime. In doing this, you at least get plenty of time to see the sights and enjoy yourself, rather than arriving late and making your visit a fleeting one.
Take a map
While most hire cars are fitted with GPS these days, you can’t beat the good old-fashioned map. GPS can often make mistakes and while it may take you the most direct route, you may find some places of interest just off the beaten path for which it may be worth taking a detour.
Understand speed limits and laws
Driving overseas can often be confusing, so make sure you understand the signage and know what speed limits exist on the roads on which you intend to travel before you leave each day. A speeding fine is a sure fire way to ruin your day.
If you have an accident
America’s roads are extremely safe, but accidents do happen, so it is worth knowing what to do if you do find yourself involved in a collision. The first thing is to ensure you stop and gather the other driver’s details. You should never admit liability, even if you feel it was your fault, as you may not be aware of all the facts. If somebody is injured, make sure you report the accident to the police.
Even if you are not injured initially, it is important to ensure you retain all the relevant details of the accident, such as insurance details of the other person and your own car hire details. This is because some injuries, such as whiplash, can come on days, even weeks after an initial collision. Returning home only to find you have sustained an injury could mean you can’t work so you may lose out financially. If this is the case, you have the right to claim for compensation. Of course, this is not always easy when you are back home, which is why you should contact a personal injury solicitor who has experience in overseas claims, who will be able to handle your case and deal with the insurance companies on your behalf.
Book through a travel company
While you may be able to save money booking your own flights and hiring your own car, by booking through a travel company you have some recourse if something goes wrong. If for some reason the car hire insurance company refuses to pay you compensation for any personal injury sustained in an accident, you can still make a claim against the travel company through which you booked your trip.