Island roads are notorious for their narrow and winding paths that often pose a challenge to visitors. Roatan has one central road that runs the length of the island, with many smaller roads branching off into neighborhoods. Before you jump behind the wheel, here are some valuable tips for road safety in Roatan.
Roatan Driving Rules
Something to keep in mind in any tourism-focused area is the likelihood of other new drivers to the area. Being unfamiliar with an area means you don’t know which turn to take, you don’t know which intersections are particularly busy, and sometimes you’re not paying enough attention because you’re admiring yet another gorgeous ocean view.
Please remember that although you are on vacation, you must adhere to the rules of the road. Drive at the speed of traffic, don’t stop suddenly to take photos, and be aware of other drivers – especially the plethora of motorcycles and scooters.
Roatan also has some specific driving rules to understand.
First, expect the unexpected. Don’t be shocked if you see horses or cows walking down the road. Give them space and only drive by them when it is safe to do so.
Secondly, know that there are no rules and drive defensively. Cars will pass on a curve, taxis will very suddenly stop in front of you, and trucks might not have any working taillights. Pay full attention while driving and always leave a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Third, there are not many streetlights in Roatan. Driving at night can be especially difficult in an unfamiliar area, so be cautious and absolutely do not drink and drive.
Finally, potholes are plentiful in Roatan. Keep an eye out and avoid them carefully.
Road Safety in Roatan
Another consideration for driving in Roatan is general road safety. Potholes are everywhere, there are no marked lines on the road, and there is rarely ever a shoulder for you to pull over. In fact, in many places along the main road there is a sheer drop-off at the edge of the pavement.
Keep in mind that roads are slippery when wet – especially if you’re driving on two wheels. Rainy season is not the ideal time to experiment with driving a scooter. Even while driving a car, be aware of tough road conditions in inclement weather and drive more cautiously.
Wear a seatbelt or a helmet, depending upon your mode of transport. It is the law and it’s also common sense. Don’t do something on vacation that you would never do at home – be careful and stay safe.
Finally, keep in mind the condition of the smaller roads off the main road in Roatan. Many of these will not be paved and can therefore be very difficult to maneuver in wet weather. Additionally, some of these unpaved roads might be very steep and therefore require 4-wheel-drive. If you’re renting a vacation home, be sure to ask the property manager about the neighborhood prior to renting a vehicle.
We want you to be safe and to enjoy your vacation in Roatan. Please be careful while on our roads, whether you’re driving, you’re a passenger, or you’re walking. Our island is a beautiful place to visit…welcome!