Driver Safety in Nicaragua

Driving in Nicaragua is a very different occurrence than traveling in the US, and travelers and tourists should be aware of that previous to hitting the Nicaraguan countryside. As a general rule, there are just a couple of paved roads, mainly major highways, and yet those are not in good condition. Secondary roads, if you can even consider them as that, are not paved and uneven, filled with potholes and hazards, not lighted, and have no shoulder.

Driving across the countryside is done on the right-hand side, like it is in the U.S. Tourists are cautioned that when choosing to visit Costa Rica or the Honduras in the course of their visit to Nicaragua, they are to go across the borders at the main border-crossing locations, Las Manos and Penas Blancas. Traffic laws are incredibly diverse in the country as well. Drivers involved in a wreck where someone dies is instantly under arrest till the reason of the accident can be discovered. You must never move a vehicle involved in the fender bender till the police get there or the accountability automatically lands on the individual who moved the vehicle.

While the government is investing funds for infrastructure, consisting of upgrading roads and bridges, the rainy season keeps on taking its toll on the roads. Even the best highways in the country have hazards that can cause a crash. Visitors to the country are intensely advised to retain insurance, make sure their vehicle is in full accordance with Nicaraguan transit law and to always carry a cell phone in case your car gets trapped has engine trouble in a rural area. Even better, tourists are advised to take on a trained driver acquainted with the roads in the wilderness and let him chauffer you around. On no occasion take a public transit bus, as they are in poor condition and riddled with lawbreakers.

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