Driving Tips in North Carolina

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Driving in North Carolina varies from other states so Sixt wants to make sure that you are aware of all the driving regulations before you start your road trip.

Rules and Regulations

Please read our list of rules and driving tips before you start your journey.

  • The Fender Bender law requires motorists to move their vehicles to the shoulder of the road following minor, non-injury crashes.
  • Please do not drink and drive. Motorists with a blood alcohol concentration at or greater than 0.08 percent are charged with driving while impaired. Minimum punishment is a possible fine of up to $200 and a possible term of imprisonment ranging from 24 hours to 30 days.
  • Under the Move Over law, motorists are required to move over one lane, if possible, or reduce speed for stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights on the shoulder of the highway, including public service vehicles with amber lights.
  • Motorists are required to use their headlights from sunset to sunrise and when light conditions restrict visibility to 400 feet or less. Motorists are also required to use headlights while operating windshield wipers during inclement weather.
  • All vehicle occupants including those in the back seat are required to wear seat belts. Front seat passengers who violate the law will receive a $25 fine. Back seat passengers will receive a $10 fine. Children up to age 8 and weighing less than 80 pounds must be secured in a safety seat while riding in a vehicle. Older children must transition to booster seats before graduating to an adult safety belt. Drivers who fail to properly secure their children face $125 in fines and court costs, as well as a two-point penalty on their driving record.
  • Right turns at a traffic signal with a red light are permitted after a complete stop, unless otherwise posted. Left turns on red are not permitted.


Winter Weather Driving

  • If travel is absolutely necessary, motorists should use the following precautions:
  • Clear windows and mirrors.
  • Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles.
  • Maintain a safe following distance behind brine application trucks, and plow and spreader trucks.
  • Bridges and overpasses accumulate ice first. Approach them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on the bridge.
  • If you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Do not apply the brakes as that will cause further loss of control of the car.
  • If you have a cellular phone, take it with you; you can contact the Highway Patrol statewide by calling HP (*47) or call the county emergency center by dialing 911.
  • Come to a complete stop or yield the right of way when approaching an intersection where traffic lights are out. Treat this scenario as a four-way stop.

Speed Limits

  • Along two-lane rural primary and secondary roads outside municipal limits in North Carolina, the statutory speed limit is 55 mph unless otherwise posted.
  • Inside the municipal limits, the statutory speed limit is 35 mph unless otherwise posted. The downtown statutory speed limit is 20 mph unless otherwise posted.
  • The Blue Ridge Parkway is 45 mph. However, there are occasional 35 mph stretches.
  • Freeways and expressways speed limit is 55 mph-60 mph.
  • A speed limit of 70 mph applies to many rural interstate highways in the state, as well as several non-interstate freeways.
  • Under North Carolina traffic laws, your driving privilege will be revoked for at least 30 days if you are convicted of driving any vehicle more than 15 mph over the speed limit, if you are driving at a speed higher than 55 mph.

Things to Bring Along

Please make sure that you have your driver license with you at all times when you are driving.

Additional Information

Sixt wants you to take care whilst driving in North Carolina and enjoy your time there. We hope that you have found our driving tips useful. If you traveling to Asheville you can use your car rental to travel around the city and go to the Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina Arboretum or the Basilica of Saint Lawrence. We have a number of other branches in many states across the USA including South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

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No matter what type of vehicle you're looking for, rentals can be booked in advance or upon arrival to provide you with reliable transportation when you need it the most.