Tourists Run into Trouble on Iceland's Gravel Roads Skip to content

Tourists Run into Trouble on Iceland’s Gravel Roads

More than 20 traffic accidents have occurred on the road to Dettifoss waterfall in northeast Iceland in the past five years. According to the police in Húsavík, the accidents most often include foreign tourists who overturn their cars.

“Speeding is usually not to blame but rather lack of experience with Icelandic gravel roads,” Húsavík police officer Bjarni Höskuldsson told Fréttabladid.

Höskuldsson said some drivers manage to overturn their cars on their way to the waterfall despite driving slowly. “Considering the high number of accidents very few people have been injured, but many cars have been badly damaged.”

“Most accidents occur when a paved road changes into a gravel road,” said Margrét Líndal, marketing and quality director of Hertz car rental in Iceland.

Líndal however added that the number of accidents has dropped recently, thanks to increased focus on safety. “Every tourist is now given a folder with extensive information on driving in Iceland.”

A new road to Dettifoss is in the pipelines, but operations may be delayed because an agreement with land owners in the region has to be reached first.

Click here to watch a video on how to drive in Iceland.

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