Driving Tips in Washington

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Driving in Washington may vary 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.

  • If you are caught drink driving the punishments can be severe. It is illegal to have .08 or more blood alcohol content.
  • It is illegal to drive or to be a passenger without wearing seat belts. Make sure all passengers are properly using seat belts, child car seats, or booster seats.
  • It is illegal to use wireless devices while driving, even with a hands-free device. This includes talking on cell phones and sending or receiving text messages.
  • You must stop for a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing whether it is on your side of the road, the opposite side of the road or at an intersection you are approaching. You are not required to stop for a school bus with red lights flashing when the stopped school bus is traveling in the opposite direction and the roadway: has three or more marked traffic lanes, is separated by a median, or is separated by a physical barrier.
  • Do not drive with head or earphones that cover or go in your ears as they make it hard to hear emergency horns or sirens.
  • By law, your vehicle’s headlights must be turned on from a half hour after sunset until a half hour before sunrise.
  • You should only make a U turn when it is safe. U turns should not be made on any curve or when approaching the crest of a hill when your vehicle cannot be seen by others.
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists have the right-of-way at crosswalks and intersections, whether the crosswalk is marked or not. Drivers must yield where necessary to avoid striking pedestrians and bicyclists who are crossing the road.
  • Drivers crossing a sidewalk while entering or exiting a driveway, alley, or parking lot must stop and yield to pedestrians. It is illegal to drive on a sidewalk except to cross it.
  • Drivers turning left must yield to oncoming vehicles and pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Drivers entering a roundabout must yield to drivers already in the circle.
  • At an intersection where there is no stop sign, yield sign, or traffic signal, drivers must yield to vehicles in the intersection and to those coming from the right.
  • At a four-way stop the driver reaching the intersection first, goes first (after coming to a complete stop). If more than one vehicle arrives at the same time, the vehicle on the right goes first.
  • Drivers must not enter an intersection unless they can get through it without having to stop. You should wait until traffic ahead clears so you are not blocking the intersection.
  • Drivers passing a vehicle going in the same direction must be ready to yield in case the other driver suddenly turns, slows down, or stops.

Speed Limits

Unless otherwise posted, are:

  • 20 mph in school zones.
  • 25 mph on streets of cities and towns.
  • 50 mph on county roads.
  • 60 mph on state highways.
  • Parts of interstate highways may be posted with higher maximum speeds.

Things to Bring Along

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

Additional Information

If you operate a motor vehicle registered in this state, you must have liability insurance and carry an identification card proving you have such insurance. Please make sure you have read all of our driving tips properly in order to drive safely on your road trip. You might be heading to Seattle in search of adventure and you will be glad to have a car rental to help you travel about the city. Head to Chihuly Garden and Glass to look at many exhibits of the amazing work of the artist Dale Chihuly. To learn more about the history of aviation go to the Museum of Flight, or if you want to get outside, go for a hike and get a great view of the city then head to Kerry Park. Don’t forget that we have a number of other branches throughout the country including Nevada, Arizona, Florida and Georgia.

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