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Driving on islands in general is not for the faint of heart. Many road systems in Caribbean locales aren't the same as in other countries. Of the 484mi (780km) of highways on the island, nearly half are unpaved. Cars are driven on the left-hand side.
Stoplights and road signs are rare on most roadways, sidewalks even rarer, and many roads are still not equipped with two proper lanes to let both sides of traffic pass at the same time. Road surfaces are poor and don't have much grip, so driving in rainy conditions is very difficult. Sizeable potholes are plentiful and the asphalt is not intact on many roads. Blind corners and hairpin turns are abundant.
It's customary on Dominica and other islands to honk to alert another vehicle or pedestrian of your impending arrival. This is especially crucial at night, as many roads aren't well-lit even in urban areas. Add to this the fact that seat belts aren't always worn, and you have some potentially fatal possibilities, especially if you aren't used to driving in a place.
The narrow, winding roads around the volcanic island don't normally have guardrails, and what lies on the other side is often a pretty straight drop off into nothingness. These steep drop-offs are often hidden by vegetation, so the unknowledgeable driver will have no clue that it buffers a sheer cliff. If driving yourself, the route from the airport to Roseau is especially nausea-inducing, with sharp curves all through a mountain. Tourists are involved in accidents on this roadway often. Landslides can also occur after heavy rains, and while there may be warning signs, it is near impossible to see them at night.
A recent pair of travellers to Dominica said they encountered difficulty driving up the Aerial Tram. The road was under construction, so conditions were worse than normal and only one lane of traffic could go by. They wound up stuck between several large buses and had to drive into and then out of a muddy section on the side of the road.
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Dominica has active volcanoes and severe thunderstorms that may cause landslides or disruptions to travel plans. Here's how to stay safe and healthy in Dominica.
Crime on the Caribbean island of Dominica is mostly petty. Many people come here as part of a cruise and may not be aware of the potential dangers.