Have no fear, we drive on the left side here! Yes, that’s correct, Crucians, along with the rest of the USVI drive all vehicles on the left-hand side of the road. It’s probably the first thing you’ll notice once you land in St. Croix and leave the airport. We also use Americanized cars with the steering wheel on the left side. It might seem a little strange at first but practice makes perfect! Most roads in St. Croix have a speed limit of 30mph or less, so you can take it nice and slow while learning to stay left.
There are several stories that have been passed around giving insight into why we keep left. Many people claim that before cars were brought to St. Croix, the donkeys on island pulled carts around and preferred to walk on the left. When the United States purchased the USVI in 1917 from the Danish there were very few cars on island and most rode donkeys wherever they went. Donkeys instinctively walked on the left and because donkeys outnumbered the cars, essentially they made the call and it just stuck. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The more you drive around the island, the more you will notice just how courteous Crucian drivers are. In the states if someone honks their horn at you, you’ve probably ticked someone off. Almost always, a horn honk here signals a “hello” or “it’s your turn, go ahead.”
There are some steep winding roads, so remember that you are on island time and there is no need to rush. Also, keep an eye out for pot holes. The roads on St. Croix are getting better each year, but there are still some spots where you’d hate to bottom out your rental car.
Speaking of rental cars, if you do plan to rent a vehicle while visiting St. Croix, you want to make sure you rent it well in advance before your trip. With the refinery re-opening on island, many refinery workers are renting cars. This means if you wait until you land on St. Croix, there might not be anything to rent at that time. Unfortunately, there aren’t any donkeys available to rent either!
Whichever road you do take on island, I’m sure it will lead you somewhere beautiful. Just remember to “keep left!”