Tips for driving in Connecticut, US

Tips for driving in Connecticut, US

When traveling or passing though Connecticut, one or more of the Interstates will be used. I91 starts in New Haven, located in the southwest region of the square part of the state (not the thinner diagonal piece in the southwest) and heads north through the center of the state, through the state capital of Hartford, and into Massachusetts.

I95 comes into the state from New York near the lowest point in CT, travels through to New Haven, and continues to follow the shoreline East into Rhode Island.

I84 heads East from New York into Connecticut about halfway up the Western border of the state, into the city of Danbury, and continues Northeast through Waterbury then Hartford and finally up into Massachusetts.

Major Routes in the State of Connecticut

Look out for these major routes throughout the state to travel across the state quickly except during rush hour: 691, 395, 291, 1, 8, 9, and 15. Do not ask for directions on how to get to routes 1, 8, 9, and 15 unless traveling in a town is extremely close to that specific route. Residents and workers only know the routes they travel on daily. For example, a gas station attendant in Shelton will only know how to direct a lost traveler to routes 8 and 15. That same attendant will most likely have no idea that Connecticut even has a route 9. CT is a very small state, but most residents tend to stay close to home and work.

All Four Seasons


Connecticut is part of New England. There is an old saying, “If you don’t like the weather in New England, wait a few minutes.” –Mark Twain. The weather in CT is very volatile. One minute is could be raining, the next, bright and sunny.

During spring, the state gets heavy rain and melting snow. Wind can also be a major problem. In summer, the temperature can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit with an extremely high humidity. During fall, the leaves turn beautiful colors, tourists pass through, and travelers slow down to enjoy the sights. Winter is the most dangerous with potential blizzards and heavy snowfall.

Moving to the state or passing through during cold seasons means giving up that convertible. Drop tops, sports, and antique cares need to be stored and garaged for the winter in order to avoid damage and paint chipping.

Connecticut Landscape

Connecticut has a wide range of landscapes including two valleys, many rivers and beaches, quiet rural towns, and many bustling cities.

In the two valleys, there are lots of hills, some with fairly steep inclines. Drivers that have lived in the state for many years are able to maneuver the terrain in many types ov vehicles, but visiting drivers who do not have this experience may find it very difficult or scary.


Highways can be hilly and curvy. Most roads and major motorways in CT were built or at least designed early in the state’s history, many even before automobiles. This means that many are not wide enough for two lanes or large vehicles. This does not mean larger vehicles will not be driving on them. Many of the higher volume roads and motorways have gone through expansion or will be widened in the future. Take extra precaution when traveling through construction zones from early spring through late fall.

Roads in CT are considered to be among the worst in the country. Road rage during rush hour can be as high as 8 or 9 out of 10 with being 10 the worst. Try to avoid driving on major highways during these times – between 8 and 9 in the morning and 4:30 and 6 at night. Downtown roads in almost every town are also very packs around these times.

CT Speed Limits

The speed limits throughout the state are fairly low due to the density of the population and dangerous roads. Anywhere a speed limit sign is not posted, the default is 25mph. Most town roads are between 30-45mph. The speed limit is 55mph on highways in the southwest region and 65mph on highways elsewhere. However, the majority of drivers tend to travel at or around 40mph on the secondary roads and 70mph on highways and major routes.

Etiquette and Language

Here are a few terms used in CT: Turning indicators are called ‘signals’, a ‘rolling stop’ seems to be the norm, tail gating or driving too close is a common practice on most roads, and a yellow light typically means speed up to pass before it turns red. As mentioned earlier, road rage can reach very high levels, so remain calm and do not get out of a vehicle in traffic.

Hopefully, these tips will ensure a safe and easier driving experience when traveling in and around the great state of Connecticut.