Hawaii Driving Rules (Everything You Should Know)

Hawaii Driving Rules (Everything You Should Know)

Vehicles aren’t the only ones with road rights in Hawaii. 

There are also rights for pedestrians, bikers, and motorcycles.

Sadly, most drivers don’t know how to share the road with them. In turn, this could lead to more collisions and accidents. 

To avoid that, we’re here to make sure that you understand the Hawaii driving rules. In other words, how to share the Hawaii roadways. 

We’ll tell you everything you need to know. 

So without further ado, let’s get started!

Driving Rules in Hawaii

Hawaii Driving Rules

Here, we’ll look at how to share the Hawaii roads with:

  • Pedestrians
  • Bicycles
  • Motorcycles
  • School buses
  • Trucks

Okay, let’s get into the details. 

Sharing the Road with Pedestrians

20% of traffic fatalities involve pedestrians. Even worse, a big part of this percentage ends up having a pedestrian killed. 

While pedestrians should be responsible for crossing the road carefully and following pedestrian laws, they have the least protection when it comes to road safety. So, the larger responsibility falls on those who drive vehicles. 

Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure pedestrians’ safety:

  • Slow down whenever you are approaching pedestrian crosswalks. Look for road signs indicating pedestrians or school lanes. 
  • If you see children on the side of the road, prepare to stop any time as they might cross the road all of a sudden. 
  • Always stop for a blind person even if the traffic signal is green. 
  • Always watch for pedestrians when you are crossing intersections or leaving the highway. 
  • Be mindful of loading and unloading passengers of vehicles in front of you. Be ready to stop if a pedestrian goes out or enters a vehicle in front. 

Sharing the Road with Bicycles

More and more people in Hawaii are using bicycles as a means of transport. So you’re likely to encounter a cyclist every now and then. 

Now, unlike pedestrians, cyclists are supposed to take the road and not the sidewalk. They also are NOT allowed to use pedestrian lanes. In other words, they’re required to follow the same road rules that all other motorists follow. 

But like pedestrians, they can be difficult to see, especially at night. And some simply don’t follow the rules. 

To avoid any accidents or collisions with cyclists, here’s how to share the road with them: 

  • Keep the bike lanes free. Do not drive on bike lanes even when you’re making a right turn. 
  • Always look to your sides before making turns or changing lanes. Make sure that the cyclist is not near you when you’re changing directions. 
  • If you’re stopping at the side of the road, look before opening the car door. Make sure no cyclists are approaching you. 
  • Always look for cyclists that drive the wrong way. While driving the wrong way is not allowed in Hawaii, some cyclists disobey this rule. 
  • Maintain at least 3 feet from the cyclist in front of you. Cyclists can stop immediately or swerve to the side. The distance can help you react in time. 
  • Don’t underestimate the speed of a cyclist. They can speed up, especially when going downhill or beating traffic. 

Sharing the Road with Motorcycles

Just like pedestrians and bicyclists, you need to give way and exercise responsible driving when sharing the road with motorcycles. 

But first, you need to know how a motorcyclist behaves on the road. 

Motorcycle riders will usually move to the leftmost side of the lane so they can see traffic in the other lane. They also tend to quickly change speed depending on the traffic. 

There are also instances when there are bumps on the road. Four-wheeled vehicles can easily pass these bumps, but it can be difficult for motorcyclists. Hence, they might avoid this by swerving to the right or left. 

That out of the way, here are some things to take note of when driving alongside motorcycles: 

  • Always give a 2-second driving distance when driving at the back of a motorcyclist. 
  • If you are being overtaken by a motorcycle, do not speed up. Maintain your speed and position to avoid clashing with the motorcyclist. 
  • If there is a motorcyclist beside you when near a right or left turn, make sure to check their speed before turning. If the motorcyclist speeds up, let them pass before making your turn. 
  • Be alert for any changes in position, lane, and speed when being around a motorcyclist. 

A lot of the rules here involve being careful and being able to adjust if the motorcyclist suddenly changes direction or pace. This is not always easy if you’re too fast. 

So if you’re near a motorcycle, automatically reduce speed, be more alert, and yield when necessary to avoid accidents. 

Sharing the Road with School Buses

In Hawaii, the law states that when you see a school bus with red flashing lights stopped on the road, you need to stop behind it and wait for it to move before going past it. This is only required for vehicles on the same lane as the school bus or on the adjacent lane from where the school bus stopped. 

Failure to follow this law will penalize you $1,000. 

This law aims to give safety to students entering and exiting the school bus. 

Sharing the Road with Trucks

Even if truck drivers are trained to maneuver trailers, tractors, and buses, there are limitations to what they can do — given the size of their vehicle. One example is the limited view they have of the sides and back.

If you’re driving alongside a truck, follow these rules: 

  • Give additional space on the side and in front when you’re driving alongside a truck. 
  • Stay in the lane where you’re seen by the truck driver.
  • If you plan on overtaking or changing lanes, do so with a large distance between you and the truck. Do not drive up to the back or front and change lanes immediately. 
  • If a truck is overtaking, move out of the way and let them pass. Do not increase speed. 


And that was everything you need to know about the Hawaii driving rules. 

There are different types of motorists you will meet on the road. And, most of the time, we can’t predict what they’ll do next. 

The best way to prevent collisions and accidents is to slow down, give a safe distance, and be alert. There’s no need to speed up and try to go faster than other motorists, especially if traffic is tight. 

If you follow these driving rules on how to share the Hawaii roadways, you can prevent a good number of accidents on the road. 

Be a responsible driver!

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