Safety First: What to Do in Case of a Road Emergency in Iceland

No one wants to have to deal with a road emergency, least of all while you’re on holiday. But sometimes, unfortunate things happen, so it always pays to know what you should do, even though you hope it’s not the kind of information you’ll ever need. Be sure to put your safety and that of your fellow travellers first and take a look at what to do in the unlikely case of a road emergency in Iceland.

Make sure everyone is in a safe place

Cars and material possessions can be repaired and replaced; people cannot. That means the first and most important thing if you have any kind of road emergency is to ensure everyone involved is safe. Ensure everyone has moved to a place that’s safely out of the way of passing traffic or other hazards while you figure out your next move.

Call the right number for help

Determine the level of help you’ll need before reaching for the phone. If it’s a mechanical failure, we offer roadside assistance 24/7, so give us a call in the event you’re going to need a repair or a replacement vehicle. We’ll ask you questions to ascertain the nature of the problem and find out if you’re likely to need a tow truck. We’ll also help reassure you by answering any questions you might have yourself.

Only use the emergency services if it really is an emergency

Emergency services the word over are stretched and you should never call upon them unless it is appropriate to do so. A breakdown is not the same as an accident. However, if you deem the situation to be a true emergency, for instance if people are hurt, then you should dial 112. This is the Icelandic equivalent of 911 in the States or 999 in the UK and will get you through to the police.

Plan for the worst when renting your vehicle

It’s vital to be prepared before you even get behind the wheel.

Accidents are uncommon but unfortunately they do happen occasionally, so to avoid being out of pocket you need the right level of protection. We offer various options when it comes to insurance coverage. These include collision damage waiver, theft protection, wind and gravel protection and third-party liability cover. Make sure you read the terms of the agreement you’ve signed. For example, always drive carefully, obey the rules of the road and never drive through water.

  • Have an emergency kit in the car

This is particularly important during the winter but good practice at any time of year, especially if you plan to drive outside built up areas where help may be a long way off. Be sure to have some basic provisions in the car, at the very least a small first aid kit, some drinking water and a few snacks. Make sure you have offline access to a map – don’t rely on data or a phone signal, just in case.

  • Check driving conditions before you set out

Even outside the winter months, driving conditions in Iceland can be challenging. Weather changes quickly and you could find yourself driving in windy or blizzard conditions. It’s essential to monitor the situation during your trip and stay abreast of road conditions. If a local says you should stay put, heed their advice and never overestimate your own capabilities. Remain alert to other risks, such as sheep straying onto the road or an increased avalanche risk if you’re passing through highland areas. Consider submitting a travel plan.

Staying safe while you’re driving is paramount, but most trips are trouble-free, however, so don’t let this put you off driving in Iceland. We have just the vehicle for you when you’re ready to make your booking.

Need a place to stay near the airport?

Check out our Konvin Hotel near the Keflavik International airport