9 Things That You Should Know About Driving In Hawaii

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Driving in Hawaii
9 things that you should know about driving in Hawaii


Driving in Hawaii

Driving in Hawaii is a really wonderful experience. The weather is almost always gorgeous, and the sights are beautiful. It is an experience that we would recommend that everyone should have at least once in their lives.

However, driving in Hawaii is also different than anywhere else in the world. Overall, it moves at a much slower pace and that is the way that Hawaiians like it. Whether you like it or not, you will need to get to driving more slowly and taking your time to get from one place to another.

9 things that you should know about driving in Hawaii

  1. People take it easy when driving in Hawaii – In Hawaii, people drive much less aggressively than most other places in the world. This includes driving slower and, many times, at least slightly under the speed limit. So, give yourself some extra time when you are driving somewhere and prepare to drive slower.
  2. Honking means “hello!” not “go to hell!” – Honking in Hawaii is really frowned upon. In general, people only do it too say hello to someone they know, not to be rude to someone they deem is not driving well.
  3. The “zipper” is not used – The “zipper” is a term that is used to describe the way that cars are typically meant to merge – one car lets another car in then follows that car. The car behind that lets one car in and so on and so forth. This looks like a zipper from above, hence the name. However, in Hawaii people are so laid back and kind that they often let several cars merge in front of them. This is especially true on bridges that only have space for one total lane of traffic. One side will let five or more cars through before they choose to venture across the bridge.
  4. Traffic patterns are a disaster – The traffic patterns in Hawaii have long been a source of contention for drivers. The patterns are complicated and seem to encourage accidents at certain points. A few examples are five-way intersections and on ramps that are too short to build enough speed to merge onto a highway.
  5. Oahu is known for its beauty but also for its traffic – Overall, Hawaii has some pretty bad traffic at certain times. Oahu is well documented as being the worst when it comes to traffic in Hawaii. This is primarily because of the Honolulu area which, by far, has the largest population of any city or area in Hawaii. Typical commutes in this area are over any hour for only twenty or twenty-five miles of actual distance during rush hour. We recommend that you do everything that you can to avoid driving during rush hour.
  6. Rain occurs suddenly and so does the bad driving – Sudden rain and flash flooding are a part of life in Hawaii. These things cause the already slow and cautious drivers of Hawaii to get even slower and more cautious.
  7. Roads are not grids in Hawaii – Hawaii’s roads are not set up like grids as they are in most places in the United States. So, if you take a wrong turn, you might want to consider stopping and checking your GPS first before you assume that taking another couple of right turns will take you back to where you were going.
  8. There are a ton of potholes – Be careful of all the potholes in Hawaii. If you hit some of the bigger ones with enough speed you could do considerable damage to your vehicle.
  9. See the sights but keep it moving – It may be tempting to slow down even more in Hawaii to see a beautiful beach but do not slow down so much that you are impeding traffic.



Driving in Hawaii is a much more pleasant experience than most places, unless you are trying to get somewhere in a hurry. It mirrors the culture of Hawaii which is laid back and relaxed. The main thing to remember is to prepare to take it slow when you are driving in Hawaii. Give yourself some extra travel time so you do not need to worry about rushing anywhere.

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