Home to nearly seven million residents, Houston is a perfect example of a large metropolis. For drivers, especially new ones, navigating the city’s maze of roads is no easy task. You can get lost easily and the aggressive driving culture might catch you off guard. But not to worry, in this guide, we’ll walk you through the key things you need to know about driving in Houston.
Rules of the Road
Of course, Houston’s driving rules are mostly similar to those of other states across the United States. But here are a few key pointers you need to know before hitting the road.
Texting and Driving: From August 2017, Texas outlawed texting and driving. If you are caught texting and driving, you could pay a fine from $99 for a first-time offense and $200 for subsequent offenses. Devices for navigation and playing music, however, do not count as distracted driving.
Drunk Driving: In Texas, the legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is 0.08. For commercial drivers, however, the limit is 0.04. The state is very strict on enforcing this rule. That’s why even first-time offenders will pay a fine of $2,000 and have their licenses revoked for 90 days. If you are ever involved in a road accident as a result of a drunk driver, the lawyers at Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. are always available to help you.
Speed Limits: The speed limits for roads are not all the same. The maximum speed usually depends on the type of road. For roadways such as highways and freeways, the speed limit is usually 65 to 75 miles per hour. For residential streets, the speed limit is usually 30 to 45 miles per hour. Feeder roads have a speed limit of between 55 to 65 miles per hour.
Headlights: When driving in Texas, your headlights should be on if visibility is below 1,000 feet. Even when driving on streets that have proper lighting in low-light situations, you are required to use your headlights.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
In Houston, certain weather conditions can make driving difficult, or even impossible. These are important to note to help keep you safe, but also to prevent you from damaging your vehicle.
Flooding: Heavy rainfall can cause flooding, especially on ramps and on stretches of the freeway. Sometimes, it is difficult to ascertain how deep the water is. If it will be difficult for you to drive around the flooded area, the best thing to do is to pull over and call for assistance.
Keep an Eye Out for Careless Drivers: No matter how careful you are as a driver, not everyone will be like you. You should watch out for careless drivers during bad weather conditions. They might not reduce their speed or drive carefully. You can ensure your safety by lowering your speed and creating enough room between your vehicle and others – not only for your safety, but other drivers as well.
Get Training in Defensive Driving
When driving in Houston, it is not unusual to see some drivers show aggressive driving habits. Taking classes in defensive driving can help you know how to handle aggressive drivers when you are on the road. Let’s take a look at a few pointers.
Watch for Distracted Drivers: Some drivers can be careless at times – texting while they are driving or not paying attention to the road ahead of them. Always watch out for drivers who appear distracted and feel free to use your horn if someone is going to mistakenly enter your lane.
Watch out for Tailgaters: Many Houston drivers are in the business of tailgating just to prevent other drivers from merging. Before hitting your brakes, always ensure that there are no tailgaters behind you.
Driving in Houston can be as easy as pie. With these tips, you are guaranteed a safe and exciting driving experience, whether you live in Houston or are planning a trip here in the future.