Nicaragua - Rules of the Road

Driving in Nicaragua is an exceedingly dissimilar experience than driving in the US, and sightseers and travelers must understand that before traveling along the Nicaraguan roads. As a general law, there are just a small number paved roads, mostly main highways, and yet those are in bad condition. Secondary roads, if you can even consider them as that, are unpaved and rough, filled with potholes and obstacles, unlit, and have no shoulder.

Driving in the nation is done on the right-hand side, as it is in the U.S. Visitors are cautioned that when considering a visit to Costa Rica or the Honduras for the duration of their visit to Nicaragua, they only cross the borders at the main border-crossing sites, Las Manos and Penas Blancas. Traffic laws are extremely different in the country as well. Drivers involved in a fender bender where someone dies is instantly arrested until the cause of the wreck can be determined. You should never change a vehicle involved in the accident until the police arrive or the accountability automatically falls on the person who changed the position of the vehicle.

At a time when the government is devoting funds for infrastructure, consisting of bettering roads and bridges, the rainy season continues to take its toll on the highways. Even the best roads in the country have dangers that can cause a crash. Tourist to the country are strongly recommended to retain insurance, make sure their vehicle is in full observance with Nicaraguan transit law and to always have a cell phone should your vehicle gets stuck or breaks down in the countryside. Better yet, visitors are advised to take on a professional driver acquainted with the area in the country and let him ferry you from one place to another. On no occasion take a public transit bus, as they are in bad shape and rife with criminals.

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