Texas is renowned for being one of the largest states in the country. It’s also known for its open highways and unique road rules.
So, if you’re planning on taking a trip through the Lone Star State, there are some things you’ll need to keep in mind.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s look at everything you need to know about driving in Texas.
- There Will Be Traffic
With a population of nearly 30 million, it shouldn’t be surprising that you will encounter some serious traffic jams when driving through the busier areas of the state.
Major cities like Houston, Austin, and Dallas are notorious for their congested highways and frustratingly packed rush hours. To make things worse, this traffic is often unavoidable because of the entire region having large amounts of drivers on the road.
Rather than become irritated, though, learn to accept it as a part of driving in the state.
While it may not be the most exciting thing in the world to barely coast along a sluggish highway, you’ll have plenty of time to plan the rest of your journey.
- West Texas Is a Unique Experience
Ironically, West Texas has the exact opposite issue that the more populated cities have when it comes to driving. Rather than slowly moving along a crowded highway, you’ll encounter long stretches of seemingly-endless road.
If you’re heading out of the state via I-20, expect the trip to take an entire day. This means you should get on the road as early as possible when you decide to make this drive.
Otherwise, you’ll need to plan for a place to stay overnight, as driving for hours and hours at a time can prove to be potentially dangerous. To complicate things further, this route isn’t exactly populated, so be sure to know how far away the next sign of civilization is.
If done correctly, though, West Texas can be an unforgettable part of a road trip. Just make sure you stop for food when you can– you may not see another restaurant for over 100 miles.
- There’s Plenty to See
Depending on what part of the state you’re driving through, you’ll have plenty to see as you cruise along.
Some of the more notable include:
- The Alamo
- The Houston Space Center
- The Fort Worth Stockyards
- Big Bend National Park
As you can expect from a state so large, it has countless of other attractions to offer. So, for those looking for a chance to pull over and explore the area, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to do so.
- Watch for Cyclists
This is especially applicable in the city of Austin, but there are often large amounts of cyclists present in any of the bigger cities in Texas.
Interestingly, though, you can’t assume that you no longer have to pay attention once you leave the area. Even on the open road and in rural areas, there are plenty of people cycling on both sides of the street.
So, be wary of your surroundings if you start to daydream or check your location on your phone while you’re driving!
- Larger Cities Have Notorious Drivers
New York, Los Angeles, and other high-population areas of the United States, big cities in Texas like Dallas are notorious for their drivers.
Whether this is due to the frequent traffic or scorchingly-high temperatures is uncertain. What is for sure, though, is that you should anticipate the people around you to drive aggressively.
While this isn’t to say that you’ll be cut off by another driver every few minutes, you shouldn’t be surprised if someone is drifting into your lane or honking because the car ahead of you is going slower than they should be.
. The Landscape Is Beautiful
There’s something about vast stretches of flat, golden fields underneath a clear, blue sky. While this sight may seem simple at first, it carries plenty of beauty with it that you can’t easily find in most other areas of the country.
Texas is notably diverse in its landscape, too. Some of the areas near the southern border can have a tropical climate similar to Miami’s. Northern regions are home to vast canyons.
Even in relatively ‘average’ areas of the state, the warm, vibrant landscape is often enough to keep you occupied if you’re looking for captivating scenery while you drive.
Traffic stops are common experiences when on long drives. If you’ve encounter one, make sure you keep this information in mind.
- Prepare For The Heat
In the summer, Texas temperatures can reach upwards of 110+ degrees. So, August isn’t the best time of year to be exploring the state.
If you choose to go during the autumn or winter, though, you’ll have a much more pleasant experience.
Despite being so hot from April to September, Texas can get notably cold during the later parts of the year. The northern regions of the state’s panhandle even experience snow occasionally!
Driving in Texas Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about driving in Texas in mind, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the sights while staying safe on the road.
Whether you decide to stay or you’re just passing through, Texas has plenty to offer its visitors!