This is the only US territory where driving on the left side British of the road is still practiced. There are many theories as to why this is. One theory is due to the prior use of the donkey as a main mode of transportation. Islanders would drive on the left to see how close they were getting to the edge of the many steep and cliff-like roadways. The original donkey trails were then paved over to create what are now the roadways today. Another theory is that as a Danish colony, the Danish West Indies were heavily British-influenced, due to an unwillingness among Danish people to relocate to the Danish colony. This British influence explains the widespread use of the English language even before the United States purchased the islands from Denmark in 1917.
Despite the left-side traffic, cars on the island are generally imported from the mainland U.S. and are left-hand drive. For drivers used to right-side traffic, the switch is pretty easy to make, though you will need to put more conscious thought into turns than normal. In general, other traffic provides an immediate reminder which side to choose; it's easier to forget if you're the only car on the road, but there are fewer cars to crash into in that case. The terror of flying past on the wrong side of traffic will pass after the first few cars, and the readjustment back home to right-hand driving will be a pleasant reminder of your trip. In short, don't be afraid of renting a car no matter which side of the road you normally drive on.
Some parts of St.Thomas, especially Charlotte Amalie can be risky at night. Drug and other related crime is a problem. Tourists should exercise caution when getting around as some neighborhoods can be dangerous, even if a well-known restaurant is in this neighborhood. It is advised to take a taxi.
St. John is a relatively safe island and usual caution is advised when leaving your car unattended, especially at secluded beaches such as Salt Pond Bay. Your car is not a safe and yes, thieves WILL look under the front seat for your wallet.
Low-lying buildings usually use the public water, which is fine to drink. Places up in the mountains almost all have independent water supplies, replenished by the rain that falls on their roofs. The safety of this water depends on regular cleaning and treatment of the building's cistern.
There are several parts of St. Thomas that are not safe after dark, and a couple places that are not safe at any time of day. The islands may seem like paradise, but the crime rate is comparable to many large cities.
Islanders follow a system of greeting which depends on the time of day. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and good night are the norm. Most people follow-up a salutation with "How are you?" When entering a room with others it is customary to greet people. You may also be greeted with "ya arright?", to which an appropriate response would be "arright!" or "OK". Islanders also use a modified handshake. A normal shake, then a finger clasp, followed by a fist bump.