Driving in DR

It has been a dreadful day on the roads in DR.

At least twelve deaths in two accidents - one in the early hours in Monte Plata - and one early this mornimg on Autopista Duarte north of Piedra Blanca.

It is reported that two American doctors driving towards the capital in a car lost their lives in the second accident. Rip.

https://www.diariolibre.com/actualidad/ … HH16776540

For me Autopista Duarte is a road with many dangers with a 100kph speed limit that is rarely observed and passing through so many small towns and villages with lots of cross traffic and motos plus lots of transport vehicles travelling fast.

From latest reports it would appear that the vehicle in which the Americans were travelling crossed over the central reservation and struck a minibus heading north;

https://listindiario.com/la-republica/2 … -contraria

Horrible day on the roads here. The other accident with apparently  6 deaths were coming from a robbery.  The found drugs,  gun, money and tools for breakins in the car.

I do not know how people drive in Santo Domingo. Crazy!

Driving in Santo Domingo is actually safer than driving in many parts of the country. there is a level of driving skill which far exceeds that of those driving in the campo.

It may seem crazy but once you get your bearings, know the best routes, know where to be on the road, anticipate other drivers moves and are tolerant of taxi drivers and traffic congestion, it ain't so bad.

Some of the cross country routes are absolutely nuts and very dangerous in my opinion and the quality of driving on the North Coast is abysmal.

You mentioned you drove from Cabarete to the capital and it was tough. Yes it is and I drove that route 4 times a week a couple of years back. Autopista Duarte is dangerous. If you drove from Navarete to Puerto Plata that is bad too with the alternative through Moca and over the mountains being tolerable but with the risk of stupid overtaking on blind sections. Other routes I consider very dangerous are from Bani to Azua and the section beyond to the San Juan fork and the road from San Fransico to Nagua plus Autopista Las Americas. The drive from Villa Mella to Monte Plata where the other accident happened is stressful too in places.

And you should try driving around places like Bonao, Cotui or Moca with motos and pasolas everywhere!

I just don't understand why slow moving vehicles do not stay in the right lane when available.

And the moped riders are looking to get blind sided.

Slow drivers and truckers do not care that they are blocking traffic.  The laws have changed to fine them but no one cares! 

Motos and pasolas are DANGEROUS and they break the laws constantly.

It's a crap shoot every time I drive thru La Romana.

Motos  and pasolas with no lights going the wrong way at night, no one stops at the lights. I have learned to drive  and survive like a Dominican for now....

I'll be there for the first time in May, not looking forward to driving after all I've read here. I was in Acapulco Mexico and the driving there was terrifying. Small cars, mostly taxis, would literally bounce off each other changing lanes and parking.
Lots of hand gestures and yelling, but no-one ever stopped. I don't know how anyone could have a nice car there....

Sure hope it isn't worse than that on the North Coast.

This country is Defensive Driving at its highest at ALL times. I enjoy driving and like others, have driven extensively throughout North America, Britain, parts of Europe, the Balkans, and Cyprus. If you fail to expect or watch for the unexpected, then you set yourself up for problems. That includes other drivers and watching road conditions. Once you understand how drivers think and potentially drive, along with expecting poor to deplorable road conditions in some areas, you can be safer. But the key is to drive defensively. I have no issues driving here, but that's me. There are worse places to drive - believe me.

I've met at least one expat that LIKES to drive in the DR, saying "I like the challenge".  :dumbom:
I've experienced driving in the East, namely Nepal, and other industrial countries, and I describe DR driving as a mix of Western and Eastern cultures. In the West we have lanes and signals and order, and traffic tickets. In the East it is more of a concept of "flow", as in flowing like a river. Need to exit? Just started pushing your way in that direction!  DR roads are a horrible mix of those two things. LOL

I no longer enjoy driving in the UK when I visit.

On the motorways there are speed cameras everywhere and you find them on the side roads too.

To drive into central London is a nightmare with bus lanes use regulated with cameras.

Oh for the days when one could enjoy driving at speed around twisty lanes and roads in the lovely British summer. You can't even think of a pint of bitter on ones travels

Driving in DR can be enjoyable on certain roads. i don't enjoy the multi lane autopistas except the Santo Domingo ring road which is still quiet. I do enjoy very much driving some of the roads in the interior such as the roads from Yamasa to Cevicos, Maimon to Cotui, Piedra Blanca to Rancho Arriba and San Jose which are often quiet with wonderful scenery all around.

Driving in Santo Domingo is like any other city with so much awareness needed and a defensive posture. But one needs to be firm and keep your nose ahead of the next driver to secure your lane and where you plan to go. I can understand drivers used to western rules being hopelessly lost and confused in such a 'no rules' environment.

Driving with motos is however the biggest challenge. They rule and if you hit them you are on the losing end of the investigation whatever the facts. Treat them with respect.

I always wonder .....

Are they (DR) bad drivers or really good but ignorant of road rules
Might be both

If you watch... you'll see people do crazy wacky things
BUT
When they have near misses - it's inches or fractions thereof
I have seen it too many times to say (100%) - It's luck

The biggest fear I have is not the drivers...
but the mechanical state of the vehicles.

Any one could fail at an inopportune time - like when coming at ME!!!

I think the roads reflect life in general in the DR - a lot more freedom (i.e. no road cameras and pesky rules), but at a cost. A wee bit of me DOES like to drive in DR for the adventurous challenge. There I said it. Hah ha

The first time I drove in DR we were pulling out of the SD airport and within a quarter mile I had someone COMING STRAIGHT AT ME!  They were passing a bus. I slowed down, sort of expecting this, sighed, and mumbled "game on". Later in that trip I found myself nose to nose with a giant tour bus at an intersection in Las Terrenas, at night. I looked up at the driver, he stared at me and, needless to say...he wouldn't budge. I threw it in reverse and backed in to the intersection to let him through.  I'm sure you all have a lot of like stories.

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