Because many states choose to at least partially disregard national guidelines* designed to encourage the uniform use of traffic signs throughout the USA, different standards in some areas can increase or decrease safety. Perhaps the most concerning of these variations is found in signs which warn drivers that they are entering a school zone.
With just over 6,000 pedestrian deaths a year [re 2017, NHTSA], the USA sadly has a very poor record in protecting people on foot.
A three-day ‘Bronze Advanced Driving Course’ for a Fortune-100 corporation in Texas, last week, turned up an excellent variety of roads and circumstances to help us discuss many of the 300-plus safety topics we cover at Advanced Drivers of North America [ADoNA], in our enhanced-safety curriculum for corporate and professional drivers.
At Advanced Drivers of North America, we specialize in courses for employees from other countries who are now working in the USA.
Indeed, some of our instructors, over the years, are immigrants from Europe themselves and we have particular expertise in working with people from drive-on-the-left countries.
Something that has to be remembered about North America, in this context, is that it is vast, with over 4.1 million miles of road – including more than 1.2 million miles that are unpaved ‘gravel roads’ – so those people who drive widely can expect to encounter extremely varied conditions.
One of the things that confuses visitors from overseas when driving in the USA is centre, left-turn-only lanes, and these are also often misused by Americans so they are the scene of a lot of usually minor, damage-only collisions. They are for use not only by vehicles that are turning left, off a main road but also by vehicles that are turning left from side streets onto a main road.