Before you hop in your hire car and start your road trip around Latvia, be aware that Latvia's roads are not in great condition and there are irresponsible drivers that often ignore road rules.
In Latvia, drivers also don't believe pedestrians should get the right of way – so before you step off the curb, make sure it's safe to do so. However, between 2010 and 2018, road deaths in Latvia have dropped by 31%.
Traffic rules are widely ignored, and it's common to see drivers speeding dangerously and attempting risky overtaking.
It doesn't matter how confident a driver you are, you can't trust other drivers on the road in Latvia.
Latvia's road fatality rate is among the top three countries in Europe, with 78 deaths per million inhabitants (statistics based on 2017 figures).
In comparison, the European average is 49 per million.
The Chief of the Traffic Safety Department of the State Police, Normunds Krapsis, says poor road infrastructure is one of the leading causes of road fatalities as well as the poor quality of country roads.
Driving in harsh winter conditions doesn't make getting around Latvia any easier, so try to avoid planning a road trip between the months of December to March. Temperatures reach lows of -13ºF (-25ºC), and there are snow, ice and fog to navigate.
Snow covering major roads is plowed when necessary but beware of black ice.
During winter, daylight hours dwindle down to just six hours per day.
To stay safe while driving in Latvia to be alert, drive safely, study the map before you set out, and drive in daylight hours.
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