I don’t ever remember seeing as many visitors in Hawaii as we have right now. As you probably know, Hawaii visitor spending rose in May to a record $1.1 billion, and the number of visitors also set a new record. With more cars on the road, it reminded me that safe driving is of paramount importance.
Whether you’re a first time visitor or a return guest, here are our best tips to ensure a safe Hawaii vacation.
1. Slow down.Police are out in force on all the islands, and speeding here is going to be costly as well as dangerous. Electronic speed enforcement is wide-spread in Hawaii and speeding fines are severe. It would be cheaper to extend you stay!
2. Don’t make sudden U-Turns. This might seem obvious, but it is very common to see these on our highways, in addition to seeing drivers simply distracted by gorgeous scenery or stopping suddenly. Our highways sometimes don’t look like highways, and that may lull you into a fall sense of safety doing things you wouldn’t consider on a mainland freeway.
3. Don’t honk. With the occasional exception in Honolulu, or in a dire emergency, we typically only use car horns as a greeting. Panic buttons on car locks aren’t popular either.
4. Let people in; that’s our way. Nuff said.
4. Be careful driving during rainy periods. Hawaii rain can be sudden and intense, albeit typically brief. Slick roads mean reduce speeds.
5. Honolulu traffic can be intense, especially between 6 to 8:30am and 3:30 to 6pm weekdays. You need to plan for extra driving time in a city that’s unfortunately well known for bad traffic.
6. Hawaii maps -- route planning. Whether on your phone, tablet or elsewhere, this always saves me a lot of grief. I like to have turn by turn directions handy.
7. Pedestrian safety. Please watch out for pedestrians when driving. If you’re a pedestrian and not at a cross walk, be especially careful crossing streets. This is even more true in Honolulu obviously.
8. Hawaii roads. Road shoulders here are often soft and deep and it is very easy to get stuck. Be mindful when pulling off. Even though I live here, I’ve both popped a tire and have had to be towed. Pot holes are also more prevalent here than on the mainland.
9. Hawaii directions. We typically use landmarks and mile posts when giving directions rather than streets and numbers. Honolulu is the exception.
10. More basics. Hawaii drunk driving laws and seat belt requirements are strictly enforced. I expect to see a number of these enforcement points along the road today.
Please add your tips to ours.