by Local Diva
Are you renting a car? Driving in from out of state? If so, I have some helpful information for you!
The state of Florida has a few different driving laws than commonly found in the rest of the country. For example – U-turns, if completed in a clear and safe area, are legal, given that there is no sign saying otherwise. The same applies for right turns at a red light.
And where do you begin when you have about 12 different highway options to take into “The World”? Should you park at a theme park, or take a bus? Look no further, because Local Diva is on the case!
Traffic Laws and Safety Tips
Let’s start at the beginning – know traffic laws! As I mentioned above, there are some rules within the state that you will not find elsewhere.
Red Lights – Come to a complete stop at the marked stop line or before moving into the crosswalk or intersection. After stopping, you may turn RIGHT on red at most intersections if the way is clear, unless there is a sign that says otherwise. There are no left turns on red.
Red Arrows – Some intersections display a “NO TURN ON RED” sign, which you must obey. Otherwise, you may turn RIGHT after coming to a complete stop if the crosswalk is clear. There are no left turns on red.
Green – Means GO! Unless you are turning left, then you must first yield to other traffic.
Flashing lights – Flashing red is the same as a stop sign, flashing yellow is a warning to be cautious.
U-Turns – If completed in a clear and safe area, U-turns are legal, given that there is no sign saying otherwise. Those making a U-Turn MUST yield to traffic.
NEVER EVER leave a child unattended in a car in the state of Florida. The interior of a car here can heat up to fatal temperatures within minutes, even in the winter.
Always keep an eye out for “snowbirds” or, elderly drivers, whose reaction times may vary.
I have driven my fair share of Florida highways, and the tip I have to pass on? AVOID I-4! It is a heavily congested, fast moving, poorly planned highway. Unless you are used to driving in major city traffic, retreat!
Florida has 3 major highways on the list of top 20 most dangerous highways in the country, they are I-95, I-4 and I-75.
Try to avoid driving near “University of Central Florida”, or “UCF”, which is the largest college in the state, and the second largest in the country…need I expand upon my reasoning?
Within “The World”
Walt Disney World signs differ from traditional signs, which give you a better warning. If a road sign says “next left”, you can typically begin to slowly merge left before you will see your destination. If a WDW sign says “next left” it basically means that…YOU’VE ALREADY MISSED IT! My husband and I joke that the WDW signs are screaming at you “TURN NOW!!!!”, as they don’t give you much warning before your turn. Best advice I have for this? Remain calm. There are plenty of options and locations for turning around, and multiple ways to get to the same place. Give yourself time to get used to the WDW road system, and allow yourself ample time to reach your destination.
Once you arrive at WDW you have the option to park at your resort and use the bus system if you are staying on property. Unless you are attempting to make a reservation on time, or headed from a resort to a resort, take advantage of someone else doing the driving for you! If you are staying on property and wish to drive to the parks, parking is free for all resort guests. Otherwise, it will cost you $17.
The bus system will drop guests off directly in front of the park. Those guests parking their own vehicles will have to either board a tram in the parking lot (strollers folded down) or walk to the front gate – anywhere from a 2 minute walk to a 1/2 mile walk.
I hope this helps those of you new to driving within the State of Florida. As always, take time when vacation planning to learn the laws of the land! These tips are just that – TIPS, and this article is not endorsed by the Florida State DMV.