Increased traffic in Iceland
In part at least due to increase in tourism
In last march the traffic on the Ringroad around Iceland was about 20% more than in the same month the year before. This is a huge increase in traffic. The increase in traffic on the Ringroad close to Jökulsárlón measured about 83%. Therefore, it is safe to say that tourism is one reason for increased traffic in Iceland.
ISAVIA, Iceland's aviation authority now predicts that there will be 1.7 million tourists coming to Iceland via Keflavik Airport compared to almost 1.3 million last year and less than one million in the year 2014. The increase is huge.
More and more tourists travel on their own hiring a rental car instead using a travel packet with a bus to go witness the nature of Iceland and the countryside. Increased traffic of drivers not familiar with Icelandic conditions is worrisome. Gravel roads, snow and ice, extremely high wind gusts and slippery roads are conditions most foreign drivers do not know and many get in trouble because of that. Low traffic volume means that winter service is not provided overall on the Icelandic road system and it means that it can be difficult to get an assistance.
Driving carefully is vital and using seatbelts is mandatory, it is the law to wear seatbelt in the backseats as well. Seatbelts safe live.
Here is a news item about driving in Iceland in winter. Please read that. The car rental agencies also provide you with a leaflet about driving in Iceland when hiring a car. Please ask for it if is missing on the steering wheel of the car – it might also be hooked on the rear view mirror.