Driving in Iceland
Iceland offers the traveler an adventure in a beautiful and rugged landscape.
However, experience shows that the forces of the Icelandic nature can be
harsh and inhospitable and travelers are well-advised to exercise caution
and respect for the country´s natural environment. This is part of the
undeniable charm that Iceland has and everybody traveling through Iceland
should accumulate at least one story involving the weather and its many
changes throughout one single hour.
Unfortunately due to inexperience we have seen some accidents involving travelers in the past couple of years. Most of these are minor and can be avoided with minimal preparedness. The most serious injuries, however, are caused by traffic accidents where travellers drive too fast in unfamiliar conditions and do not wear seat belts.
Most of the mountain roads in Iceland have a surface of loose gravel and the same applies to large sections of the national highway, which also has long stretches of asphalt. The surface on the gravel roads is often very loose and drivers should always use caution while driving on them. The mountain roads are also very narrow and can have numerous hairpin turns and winding bends that are not made for speeding so please take care to drive slowly. In general it is good to drive carefully and slow down whenever approaching an oncoming car where ever you are driving in Iceland.
The bridges in Icealand are also very narrow and most of them are only wide enough for one car at a time. Journeys therefor can often take longer than might be expected. For information on road conditions: Tel: 354-563-1500 answering service is on a 24 hours basis, Tel: 800-6316 (In English 1/6-31/8).
The general speed limit is 50 km/h in urban areas, 80 km/h on gravel roads in rural areas and 90 km/h on asphalt roads. Please note: special warning signs indicate danger ahead, such as sharp bends, but there is generally not a separate sign to reduce speed.
- Please choose a safe speed according to conditions.
- Motorists are obliged by law to use headlights at all times day
- In Iceland all driving off roads or on marked tracks is forbidden.
- Passengers in the front and back seats of a vehicle are required
by law to use seatbelts at all times.
- Icelandic law forbids any driving under the influence of alcohol.