Driver Safety in Nicaragua

Driving in Nicaragua is an exceedingly different occurrence versus traveling across the US, and sightseers and vacationers must understand that before hitting the Nicaraguan countryside. As a common rule, there are only a few paved roads, mostly main highways, and even those are in bad order. Secondary roads, if you can even consider them as that, are not paved and uneven, full of potholes and hindrances, not lighted, and have no shoulder.

Driving across the country is done on the right-hand side, as it is in the U.S. Tourists are warned that when considering a visit to Costa Rica or the Honduras for the duration of their stay in Nicaragua, they are to cross the borders at the main border-crossing locations, Las Manos and Penas Blancas. Traffic laws are extremely diverse in the country as well. Drivers involved in a wreck in which a person is killed is instantly arrested until the cause of the accident can be determined. You should never move a car involved in the fender bender until the police get there or the accountability automatically falls on the person who changed the position of the car.

While the government is devoting funds for infrastructure, consisting of bettering roads and bridges, the rainy season continues to take its toll on the roads. Still the best highways in the country contain hazards that can cause an accident. Visitors to the country are fiercely advised to retain insurance, be positive their car is in total accordance with Nicaraguan transit law and to continuously carry a cell phone should your car gets trapped has engine trouble in the countryside. Even better, tourists are directed to take on a professional driver familiar with the roads in the wilderness and let him ferry you from one place to another. Never take a public transit bus, as they are in poor shape and riddled with criminals.

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