Travel safely in Iceland

Posted on May 12, 2009 by

Special car

Special car

In Iceland the road conditions are usually good, but it is important to know the behaviour to observe in case some particular situations occur.
Along the road it is quite usual the passage from the asphalt to the gravel, marked by the panels “Malbik Endar”: it is mandatory to slow down and avoid sudden increase of speed or slam on the brakes, as this may cause wheels skidding.

Before crossing one lane bridges, marked by the panel “Einbreið Brú”, you must give way;
In case of sharp bends, marked by the panel “Blindhæð”, slow down and draw up on the right;
Two lane roads with no central kerb require attention, because they’re often covered by cars travelling in the middle of the street that overrun the other lane;

When going along the dirt roads, go slowly and avoid slam on the breaks;
Areas signalled by orange panels may experience strong sand storms that cause damages to the bodywork and sometimes may even overturn the vehicle;

In wintertime, in case of ice or snow, you must drive very carefully;
Mountain roads marked with a F and a three digit number, may be covered only by 4×4 wheels vehicles. On F roads it’s safer if two cars travel together, so that, in case one of them brakes down, the other may go back and alert the rescue services. It’s useful and wise to bring along food, blankets and equipment to repair damages. When you go along F roads, it is mandatory to inform about destination and foreseen day and time of return, so to make the eventual rescue search easier.

The fords of the rivers in the internal areas are marked on the map with a V sign; they must be crossed with caution and slowly, after checking their depth and the velocity of the water flow. Fords crossing may be done only if you wear the life jacket and you have the life rope; use the low gear and proceed very slowly, with no stops or change of gear.

The web site www.umferdarstofa.is provides detailed instructions on the behaviour to keep on the road. To have detailed updated on road conditions and on the weather, you may visit: www.vegagerdin.is or www.vedur.is/english

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