first thing to be considered is that fact that Americans drive on the
RIGHT and in the Commonwealth you drive on the LEFT. Now if that isn't
confusing enough, even the road markings are opposite. In America YELLOW
lines signify the center of the road and white the edge while exactly the
opposite occurs in most Commonwealth countries. Want to know why
Commonwealth countries (apart from Canada) drive on the left and Americans on the right? Then go
Highways, Freeways, Motorways...
the USA, highways are VERY specific in how you refer to them. For example,
the 635 is pronounced the "six thirty-five" and NOT the
"six three five" or the "six hundred and thirty five".
Highways in Commonwealth countries begin with M for Motorway.
Commonwealth a "Dual Carriageway" is a road with 2 lanes going in each
pedestrian crosswalks in the Commonwealth are called Zebra Crossings,
because of the stripes.
There is a very good reason behind the highway marking system in the USA.
Highways marked "US" (i.e. the famous US 66), the lower numbers start in
the northeast and get higher as they move southwest. However, for highways
marked Interstate (such as I-75 going from Michigan to Florida), lower
numbers start in the southwest, with road numbers getting higher as they
go to the northwest. This was to help prevent confusion and overlapping
numbering, as the Interstate highway system was created after many "US-##"
highways had been created.
Also, three-digit highway numbers have a certain function depending on the
first digit. If the first digit is even, it is a bypass, usually going
around a city and meeting up with the original highway. If the first digit
is odd, it is a spur, meaning it forks from the original highway and
doesn't meet up again. Also, the second and third digit of the number is
the highway of which it is a bypass or spur. (For instance, I-465 bypasses
around the city of Indianapolis and comes back to I-65. US-131 spurs off
of US-31 in Michigan and ends at the Indiana Toll Road without meeting up
America most vehicles have an automatic transmission while in the
Commonwealth the majority of cars are manual. This is especially the case
with rental cars. It is as impossible to rent a manual in the States as it
is impossible to rent an automatic in an economy or compact class in the
Commonwealth. Cars in America generally have a higher spec (extras, such as
power windows and cruise) than cars in the Commonwealth of the same price.
In the USA freeways or highways where you pay a toll are called "Turnpikes". In Commonwealth countries they are called toll roads or
toll ways. BEWARE Commonwealth visitors to the
USA! Traffic laws in the USA not only differ from state to state, but they differ
VASTLY! For example the school zone speed limit in California is 25 mph, but in Maine it is 15
mph, while in Texas it is 20 mph. Motorcycle crash helmets MUST be worn in
California and New York but are not necessary in Arizona, Florida, Texas or Maine. In the Commonwealth traffic laws are set by central government and apply throughout the
country without exception.
in America is a "Drive-through". Fast Food, such as MacDonald's,
Burger King and even Chinese drive-throughs. There are also drive-through
banks and ATMs, drive-through drycleaners, drive-through
pharmacies, drive-through liquor stores and cigarette stores. Drive-throughs
are not as common in the Commonwealth although rapidly increasing in
Americans are safe and courteous drivers on the whole, and but for a few notable exceptions (New York, Boston) will invariably allow merging drivers in. Some of the worst drivers in the USA are found in
Texas and Florida, while the most courteous are in California!
Most drivers in the Commonwealth are courteous, with a few exceptions in
such countries as India, Sri Lanka and certain other Commonwealth countries in
Africa. In South Africa, "Black Taxis" are notorious for their
deliberately poor and downright dangerous driving practices.