The Iceland Safety Guide
Our customers have told us that the roads in Iceland are completely different from all other roads they have driven on, and not in a good way. So we have put together a guide for you to review before you start your journey.
General safety in Iceland
Iceland is easily one of the world’s safest countries, with some of the lowest crime and murder rates globally. Over 90% of Icelanders agree that the country is the safest travel destination, and for the eleventh year running, Iceland has been ranked the safest country in the world by the Global Peace Index. But just why is it so safe? Iceland’s tiny crime rate and general low risk to life (even though the country is scattered with a number of active volcanoes) are key factors behind this. On entering the country, you will understand the high levels of safety Icelanders feel at home immediately, with parents leaving sleeping babies in pushchairs outside of restaurants and bars with complete peace of mind.
The small yet characterful capital, Reykjavik, is home to no more than 123,000 people. The city is ranked in the top twenty safest capital cities, avoiding many of the safety concerns other cities face across the globe. Even after the sun sets, the bustling friendly atmosphere is continued through the night. Being the epicentre of Iceland’s nightlife, Reykjavik is a magnet to those looking for a good time with friends and family. A trip to Iceland can be enjoyed with minimal worry in regards to safety, and visitors can be assured they will be well looked after by the locals.
However, when it comes to driving, one must take extra precaution. To ensure safety in Iceland, it is advised that only those that are confident behind the wheel are to drive, as Iceland can host a number of obstacles when driving on difficult roads. Main roads such as the Golden Circle and Route 1 are well maintained and can be driven on with ease. However, there are dangerous F-Roads which can prove tricky to navigate on. This page outlines everything you need to know about safety in Iceland, especially when it comes to ensuring safe travel.
We recommend a visit to these websites every day
Check road conditions on the very informative Safetravel.is website. Information is updated by the hour and has information about wind speed, snow and icy roads in winter, if the road is closed and much more. Just click on the part you plan to be driving through.
Safetravel.is has a great site always updates with the dangers lurking around Iceland. If there are safety alerts, you will find them there.
Always check the weather forecast at the Icelandic Met office. You can choose the area you are driving through and scroll the forecast for information by the hour. Please note that the information is not updated throughout the day.
Lastly, you can see actual road conditions on the Road.is webcam site. Be a little patient with the site, it is sometimes a little slow to show footage.
Driving in Iceland with Elfis
Check out videos made by the Icelandic Road Administration (drive.is).
Information sites about Driving safely
Road.is - Driving safely in Iceland
How to drive in Iceland by the Icelandic transport authority
Blog about driving in Iceland by SADcars car rental
Information about car seats for children
Get to know the Icelandic traffic signs
Calculate distances between places in Iceland (only in Icelandic)
Compare fuel prices at gas stations in Reykjavik
We urge you to be insured, check out the insurance options we offer here.
And lastly, a good rule is to always check with the locals before you go ahead on your journey. Find the local tourist information office, ask the people at your accommodation or the gas station. Local people often know the forecast by heart and can guide you through bad weather.
Photo from drive.is.
Top 10 tips from Driving in Iceland
- 1. Everyone in the car needs to wear a seatbelt.
- 2. Do not stop or park the car on the road except in case of emergency.
- 3. Lower your speed when you approach and drive on a gravel road.
- 4. Choose the speed in accordance with the road surface.
- 5. Check the weather and road surface in advance on road.is and safetravel.is.
- 6. Make sure you get enough sleep in summer when there´s daylight 24 hours.
- 7. Be sure that you have the driving lights always on - night and day.
- 8. The car that approaches a single lane bridge first, crosses first.
- 9. Sheep and other livestock you see near the road can suddenly run across the road.
- 10. Don't risk your life and safety by driving on to a CLOSED road (marked Impassable or ÓFÆRT).