Nicaragua - Rules of the Road

Driving in Nicaragua is an extremely different experience versus driving across the US, and sightseers and travelers should realize that before hitting the Nicaraguan countryside. As a common law, there are only a small number paved roads, mainly major highways, and even those are in bad shape. Secondary roads, if you can even call them as that, are unpaved and uneven, containing potholes and hazards, unlit, and have no shoulder.

Driving through the nation is done on the right-hand side, as it is in the U.S. Travelers are warned that when considering a visit to Costa Rica or the Honduras during their stay in Nicaragua, they are to cross the borders at the main border-crossing sites, Las Manos and Penas Blancas. Traffic laws are extremely different in the country as well. Motorists involved in a wreck where a person dies is instantly under arrest until the reason of the wreck can be verified. You must never move a car involved in the car crash until the police arrive or the liability consequently falls on the person who changed the position of the car.

As the government is financing 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 contain hazards that can cause a wreck. Visitors to the country are intensely advised to retain insurance, make sure their car is in full observance with Nicaraguan transit law and to always carry a cell phone in case your car gets stuck has engine trouble in a rural area. Better yet, tourists are advised to take on a professional driver acquainted with the roads in the wilderness and let him chauffer you from one place to another. On no occasion ride on a public transit bus, as they are in bad shape and riddled with lawbreakers.

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