Planning to head overseas and do a road trip? Before you book your rental car, check out if the country you’re visiting is known for its road safety – if not you might be better off getting around by train or local bus. Here are a few countries that have some of the lowest road fatalities in the world.
Tonga is famous for its laid back attitude, and this also applies to driving, road rage is unheard of in this chilled out island. In saying that it’s best not to drive at night in Tonga as visibility is poor, or during bad weather (November to April is cyclone season).
Antigua and Barbuda
The roads on these Caribbean islands experience very few fatalities and renting a car is the best way to explore off-the-beaten-track; they also drive on the left-hand side of the road. A couple of things to note: main roads are in reasonable condition, but some smaller roads can have potholes and animals wandering around.
Some of the advantages of renting a car in Malta are: car rental is cheap, you can get to places the local buses can’t and they drive on the left. Malta also has one of the lowest crash rates in the world. But drivers in Malta aren’t too concerned about road rules, so it’s surprising that the road toll isn’t higher. Watch out for lane drifters, swerving to avoid potholes and overtaking on the inside.
Swiss roads aren’t for the faint-hearted with all the alpine passes, superhighways and tunnels to contend with. But the roads are well signposted and easy to navigate, so you’re not likely to have an accident. While Swiss drivers are fairly considerate, it still pays to be on your guard.
A modern highway system and a government that’s particularly strict on drink driving makes the Netherlands one of the safest countries to drive in. Things to look out for include: varying speed limits, who has right of way on roundabouts and cyclists taking priority over cars.
Sweden has one of the world’s lowest crash rates and has worked hard to make their roads safer by lowering urban speed limits, incorporating designated lanes for overtaking and stricter policing. Things to note: they drive on the right and overtake on the left, if you’re caught with more than 0.02% blood alcohol limit you will be fined and at risk of a prison sentence of six months.
Renting a car in Iceland is an ideal way to explore the unique landscape, and the main roads are easy to navigate and well-maintained. Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world to drive in, with strict laws against drink driving and everyone in the car required to wear a seat belt. Drive with caution during winter conditions and don’t drive off-road, it’s prohibited.
With an excellent roading network and well-maintained highways, it’s not surprising that Britain has one of the best records in the world for safe driving. British drivers also have to pass strict tests before obtaining their licenses. The fact that signage is in English is a bonus, and they also drive on the left. Note: they use miles instead of kilometres when judging travel distances (1 mile = approx. 1.5 km).