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Slovakia – Driving

Slovakia is a beautiful country with stunning mountainous landscapes and medieval towns. However, if you’re planning on driving in Slovakia, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the country’s road rules and regulations.

Road Safety in Slovakia

Road safety in Slovakia has improved significantly in recent years, with the number of road fatalities decreasing by over 50% between 2001 and 2020. However, like most countries, accidents still occur, and it’s essential to exercise caution when driving.

The quality of roads in Slovakia varies from well-maintained highways to poorly maintained rural roads. In general, the main roads are of good quality, while secondary roads can be more challenging to navigate due to their narrow width and winding paths.

Local driving standards in Slovakia are generally good, and drivers are generally courteous and follow traffic rules. However, like any country, there are reckless drivers on the roads, and it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution at all times.

Equipment Required in Slovakia

When driving in Slovakia, you are required to carry the following equipment in your car:

  • A reflective vest (must be worn if you are outside your vehicle on a road)
  • A warning triangle
  • A first-aid kit
  • A spare tire
  • Snow chains (if driving in winter conditions)

What to Do in the Event of an Accident

In the event of a road accident in Slovakia, you are required by law to:

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  • Stop your vehicle immediately and turn on your hazard lights
  • Check for injuries and call for medical assistance if necessary
  • Call the police to report the accident
  • Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved, including names, contact information, and insurance information
  • Take photos of the accident scene and any damage to the vehicles involved
  • Do not move the vehicles until the police arrive, unless they pose a danger to other drivers

Driving Rules in Slovakia

When driving in Slovakia, there are a few important rules to keep in mind:

  • You must drive on the right side of the road
  • The speed limit on highways is 130 km/h, on expressways 110 km/h, and on other roads between 50-90 km/h
  • The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.0%, and it is strictly enforced
  • Seatbelts are mandatory for all passengers
  • When driving in tunnels, you must turn on your headlights
  • You must give way to pedestrians at all times, even if there is no designated pedestrian crossing

Road Signs and Traffic Lights

In Slovakia, road signs are standardised and follow the European convention, with clear symbols and colours to indicate the different types of information. Here are some of the most important road signs to be aware of when driving in Slovakia:

  • Stop sign: This is an octagonal sign with a red background and white letters that say “STOP”. When you see this sign, you must come to a complete stop and only proceed when it is safe to do so.

  • Priority road sign: This sign features a yellow diamond with a white border and the letter “P” in the centre. It is used to indicate a priority road, which means that drivers on this road have the right of way over drivers on intersecting roads.

  • Give way sign: This sign is a downward-pointing triangle with a red border and a white interior. It indicates that drivers must give way to traffic on the intersecting road.

  • Speed limit signs: Speed limit signs in Slovakia are round with a white background and a red border. The number in the centre indicates the maximum speed limit for that particular road.

  • No entry sign: This sign features a red circle with a white background and a diagonal line across the centre. It indicates that the road is closed to traffic in that direction.

  • One-way sign: This sign features a white arrow on a blue background and indicates that traffic is allowed to travel in one direction only.

  • Parking sign: Parking signs in Slovakia are blue with a white border and text indicating the hours of operation and any restrictions or requirements for parking in that area.

Traffic lights in Slovakia follow the same basic pattern as most other countries, with red indicating stop, green indicating go, and yellow indicating caution. However, it is worth noting that some intersections may have flashing yellow lights, which indicate that drivers should proceed with caution but do not need to come to a complete stop.

Where to Find Up-to-Date Road Traffic Information in Slovakia

For up-to-date information on road traffic in Slovakia, there are several online resources available:

  • Traffic Information Centre: The Traffic Information Centre provides up-to-date information on road conditions, construction, and other factors that may impact traffic in Slovakia. The website is available in English as well as Slovak.

  • Radio Traffic Reports: Many radio stations in Slovakia provide regular traffic reports throughout the day, particularly during rush hour. These reports may be available in Slovak only.

  • Google Maps: Google Maps provides real-time traffic updates for major roads and highways in Slovakia, allowing drivers to plan their routes accordingly.

Useful Information on Parking Rules and Disabled Parking in Slovakia

When it comes to parking in Slovakia, there are a few important rules to be aware of:

  • Parking Discs: In some areas, drivers are required to display a parking disc on their dashboard to indicate the time they arrived. These discs are usually available from local shops or petrol stations.

  • Paid Parking Zones: Many cities in Slovakia have designated paid parking zones where drivers must pay to park their vehicle. These zones are typically indicated by signs and/or pavement markings.

  • Disabled Parking: Drivers with disabilities may park in designated disabled parking spaces, which are indicated by blue signs with the international symbol of access. A valid disabled parking permit must be displayed in the vehicle at all times.

In general, parking can be a challenge in urban areas of Slovakia, particularly during peak hours. It is important to follow all parking rules and regulations to avoid fines or other penalties.