Driver Safety in Nicaragua

Driving in Nicaragua is an extremely dissimilar experience than traveling in the US, and travelers and travelers should be aware of that previous to hitting the Nicaraguan roads. As a common law, there are just a few paved roads, primarily main highways, and even those are not in good shape. Secondary roads, if you can even consider them as that, are not paved and rough, filled with potholes and obstacles, not lighted, and have no shoulder.

Driving in the nation is done on the right-hand side, like it is in the U.S. Travelers are cautioned that when considering a visit to Costa Rica or the Honduras during their stay in Nicaragua, they only go across 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 an accident where someone is killed is immediately arrested until the cause of the wreck can be verified. You must never move a vehicle involved in the accident until the police get there or the accountability consequently falls on the individual who changed the position of the vehicle.

As the government is investing funds for infrastructure, including bettering roads and bridges, the rainy season keeps on taking its toll on the highways. Even the best highways in the country have dangers that can lead to a wreck. Tourist to the country are fiercely advised to retain insurance, make sure their vehicle is in total accordance with Nicaraguan transit law and to continuously carry a cell phone should your vehicle gets trapped has engine trouble in a rural area. Even better, visitors are advised to take on a qualified driver acquainted with the area in the wilderness and let him ferry you around. On no occasion ride on a public transit bus, as they are in bad shape and riddled with criminals.

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