The very best reason to drive carefully in Iceland
We all know the messages about driving carefully whenever we´re in charge of a vehicle. Most of us pay limited attention and drive as suits our needs even if a teeny-weeny bit unlawful at times.
Most of us do just fine even if we do not always drive under the speed limits or use signals every time we change lanes. We also know well any potential hazards while driving in our town or city. Not so in Iceland.
Now,roads on this island are far removed from what could be called as fine. Even paved roads here are adequate at the very best and paved roads are the exception outside of the Ring Road circling the country.
But it is not just that the roads overall are bad. They are also very narrow. Which is not a problem when driving leisurely around but when speeds reach 100 km/hr as is the normal on the Ring Road there is no room for error. And seeing as this country is jam-packed with wonderful things to see everywhere keeping your eyes on the road can be tricky.
However, bad roads and narrow are really not your greatest concern when behind the wheel in rural Iceland. Your problem is sheep.
Hitting a sheep at average speed (nice rhyme) will not only send the sheep to Kingdom Come but you probably as well. If not physically then financially.
You see, there are more sheep in Iceland than there are people and as befits the sheep are free to wander around the island all over summer. Which is great when on our dish later on but not so when a number of them aggressively aim for roads wherever there is a chance. And sadly, a number of folks end up hitting sheep in all parts of the country regularly.
Thus a very good advice before driving anywhere is to constantly be aware there could be sheep lurking behind that next bend in the road. Which means keeping your speed down if that turns out to be the case. You really do not want to have an accident here. Hospitals are few and far between and apart from possible physical damage and financial damage you will in some cases have to reimburse the sheep´s owner. It´s time consuming too.
So, take care out there. We mean it.