Be safe in Iceland
Unfortunately, our guests in Iceland are more and more finding themselves in trouble. They climb over chains, not following warnings, not reading warnings, driving faster than their experience allows them to. They are taking chances to just get that much closer to an attraction, not being enough informed of the different driving conditions one finds in Iceland or choosing to ignore all the information that is out there or not understanding them.
Danger at Gullfoss as tourists ignore stop signs
The latest video popping up in the medias is a video of tourists putting themselves in real danger. We clearly see a woman, the mother we guess, carrying her infant in an area closed at Gullfoss due to severe icing of the area. The signs said, in four different languages, no entering the area. This behavior is a recipe for a horrifying accident. Why did all these people utterly ignore the stop signs? Do we need more languages there or do we need to put up a booth there with a guard stopping this behavior?
Tourists in trouble at Reynisfjara
Another destination but a different type of danger where we have seen scary pictures and videos from is Reynisfjara black sand beach in Vík í Mýrdal. There has also been fatalities there. According to the Police, 245 tourists were injured in 2015 and 37% of them in South Iceland. Travelers seems to have no sense of how fast and powerful the swells can be at Reynisfjara, despite warning signs in multiple languages.
One lane bridge accidents
One lane bridges is something we still have quite a few of left all over Iceland. By definition, a one lane bridge only allows cars going in one direction. When you approach a one lane bridge in your camper van, you drive over it it nice and slowly and keeping a lookout ahead of you to see if there is any oncoming traffic. When you approach a one lane bridge and you see cars on the other side, you make sure you know which one of you are stopping to yield for the oncoming traffic, the rule is, the first one to the bridge, gets to drive first but even if you are the first one, make sure you see the other car pull up to the side of the road to give you room before you pass the bridge and keep your speed, nice and slowly makes it surely over.
Too many accidents happens on these bridges, both with Icelanders and tourists are involved in them and last year we had yet another fatality involving a tourist who were driving way too fast. These are accidents so easily avoided by slowing down and making sure you know what’s ahead of you. If you are unsure, take the safe way by stopping by the side of the road, well before the bridge and let the oncoming traffic pass you before you pass the bridge. You are in no rush, you are on a camper van holiday in Iceland. Enjoy it!
What can be done?
Iceland is now trying to do something about it by starting Iceland Academy, an online, fun and easy course to educate our guests about all things Icelandic, including the different driving conditions we have here and the importance to follow all warnings we get here, especially during winter. You can win an all paid vacation to Iceland if you graduate with high scores! Just do it! And while you are at it, why not take part in our monthly contest for a free camper!
We try to post all the important updates on our Facebook wall, information we get from different sites like the Icelandic Met office, the Police, the Icelandic Road administration, the Safe travel website and all the newspapers and magazines we have here.
With a 43% increase of tourists in Iceland this February compared to February last year it’s no wonder the accidents increases too but its such unnecessary accidents for they are so easily prevented.
We want you to be safe and enjoy your drive around Iceland in your camper van rental. Iceland is not a dangerous place but we do have conditions and situations many are not used to. Familiarize yourself with what to expect, read everything concerning your Iceland vacation and read our blog for you will find usefull information there. You only need to be informed and behave accordingly.
The people at wants to inspire tourists to become responsible tourist with their initiative “The Icelandic Pledge“. Why not take the pledge and be more aware of what to do or not to do while traveling around in Iceland?
Happy camping! #WohoCamper
Read more: Where to camp in Iceland
Happy Camping! #WohoCamper
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