Driving, Traffic Tips, and Toll Roads in Slovakia

By Sam Miller

Landlocked and bounded by Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine, and by Austria, Slovakia is an emerging power in Europe. After the communist Czechoslovakia split in 1991, Czech Republic and Slovakia became two independent republics. Slovakia was the more traditional between the two, composed mainly of rural areas, small towns and cities. It only has a few major and national roads due to its mountainous surface. Its largest and most populous city, Bratislava is Slovakia’s capital.
Driving in Slovakia is like driving in any other foreign country; you would need a driver’s license. However, it depends on the country where you came from if Slovakian law permits you to use your driving license. You should bring your I.D. card, visa, and passport because you may be asked to apply for an international driver’s license to be allowed to drive.
Like most other European countries, you will be driving on the right side of the car, not the left. This rule is not by chance, or that European people just want to drive on the right for a change. This in fact lessens probability of being involved in a car accident because the driver would find it difficult to overtake another vehicle due to limited vision. Studies all over the world say that majority of accidents happen because of overtaking vehicles. Consequently, you are recommended to stay on the left lane when driving along toll roads in Slovakia to avoid accidents.
The D1 Motorway is one of the most important toll roads in Slovakia as it spans the whole country from east to west. You will not be able to visit another city or town without driving along D1 so better remember that name to avoid being lost on the way. Once you are in D1 you can easily take detours to cities using your map if you have one. However, the motorway is still under construction in some parts, so be sure to control your speed even if you do not see any constructions ahead.
There are also speed limits in Slovakia: 130kph on toll roads and motorways, 90kph on national and main roads, and 60kph on industrial, commercial or residential areas. Alcohol drinking before hitting the road and using mobile devices while driving are strictly illegal, especially when driving along toll roads in Slovakia. They do not only endanger the life of the driver, but of others as well. If you are caught, you will be ticketed and charged fines. During winter, October to March, it could get dark in Slovakia even during daytime, so the law requires every motorist to turn on their headlights for safety precautions.
If it is your first time to drive the long toll roads in Slovakia, you will need to know where to pay. You can purchase stickers, 15-day or annual stickers, from gas stations and post offices in order to legally drive along Slovak roads. Remember to display these stickers on your windshield for convenience.
Reminders are useless if they are not observed. You can also read travel guides and maps to add up to your knowledge of driving in Slovakia. Before going to Slovakia make sure you already have a car to use, and of course, do not forget to bring a camera.

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