Florida is one of the most popular states to visit, thanks to its unbeatable weather conditions, world-famous family attractions, gorgeous sandy beaches, and unique wildlife. The Sunshine State clearly has a lot to offer, so it’s no surprise that it draws in more than 120 million visitors on an annual basis, but first-time visitors might be a little overwhelmed at first, especially in regards to getting around.
Many of the roads in Florida are relatively wide and straight, offering idyllic driving conditions in the vast majority of cases, but with such high numbers of cars on the roads and plenty of smaller country roads to navigate from time to time, plus toll stations to deal with and unique state rules to follow too, a little preparation can go a long way when it comes to driving in Florida.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some top tips to help you drive safely and stress-free on the roads of the Sunshine State.
Florida is famed for its sunshine and high temperatures, so you might feel that driving in Florida will always be relatively easy, without the risk of frosty roads or wet and windy conditions. However, due to the often high humidity levels in Florida, the state can fall victim to tropical storms and hurricanes on a regular basis.
So, even in Florida, you need to remember key tips that can help you deal with bad road conditions, such as easing off on the accelerator when the rain starts to fall and applying more gentle pressure to your brakes when the roads get frosty or slippery. Most of the time you’ll only see bright, sunny skies, but you need to be ready to adapt if the weather changes.
Along with its non-stop sunshine, Florida is also famed for its long, straight roads and convenient highways that can help you traverse the entire state without too many issues. The famous Overseas Highway, for example, runs for over 120 miles and basically goes in a straight line of the southern part of the state and along the famed Florida Keys.
These kinds of roads are so simple, you might think you don’t need a GPS, but there are lots of other smaller and more complicated roads to navigate in Florida, even around key Floridian touristic locations like Walt Disney World and Miami, so having a GPS can really make a big difference, helping you reach your destinations more quickly and minimize the risks of getting lost.
Florida has plenty in common with many other states across America when it comes to general rules of the road, but there are a few unique peculiarities for visitors to get used to, down in the Sunshine State. For example, it’s absolutely legal to turn right at a red light in Florida, unless there’s a sign stating otherwise or any traffic coming your way.
The speed limit is 70mph on Interstates, 65mph on four-lane highways outside of big urban areas, and 60mph on other highways. You can actually be ticketed for driving too slowly in Florida, so be sure to maintain a steady speed, suitable for the conditions and the road you’re driving on. Driving and using cell phones is legal in Florida but generally not recommended, as distracted driving kills and injures thousands of people each year.
Staying calm on the roads is so important, especially as you can’t always rely on other drivers to do the same. This is especially true in Florida, which often appears at the top of the table when it comes to road rage incidents and angry drivers. Two wrongs never make a right, so if you see someone else getting angry and driving recklessly, be sure to simply keep your distance and stay safe.
A lot of people can get worked up on the roads in Florida due to tailgating, driving too slowly, or other drivers letting themselves get distracted by phones and in-car entertainment systems. Keeping your focus on the road will help you stay safe and also reduce the risk of you being involved in any road rage issues with other drivers too.
Florida can be such an exciting destination, with its world-class theme parks and beautiful beaches offering endless appeal, but in order to have the best possible time on your trip to the Sunshine State, you have to stay safe. Hopefully, these simple driving tips will help you have the best possible time.