Be Careful and Enjoy this beautiful country
One of the best ways to see Israel is by car rental, since it is a relatively small country (about the size of the state of New Jersey). Once you’ve made the decision to explore this beautiful country in the comfort of your own rented vehicle, here are some basic driving tips to ensure safety:
- As in all countries, you need a valid foreign driver’s license although you do not need to have an international driver’s license.
- Unlike many foreign countries, your steering wheel in the car is on the left side and you drive on the right side of the road.
- For the most part, the roads and freeways in Israel are in relatively good condition. There are only six major highways across the country and only one toll road which is called highway 6.
The numbering of the road system is uncomplicated and is as follows:
- Even numbered roads: these will run north to south. The lower the number, the further south.
- Odd numbered roads: these will run from east to west. The lower the number here, the closer you are to the western part of the country.
Most safety driving tips in Israel are based on common sense, just like in all other countries. No matter how tempted you may be, please do not use your cell phone while driving as this is illegal in Israel and dangerous. If you enjoy nightlife and visiting the bar scene, please remember that driving while intoxicated is illegal and strictly enforced. If you need to pull off of the road for an emergency, you are required to put on a bright yellow safety vest that all major car rental companies supply and usually have stored in the glove box.
There are times when traffic is extremely congested around the major cities. This usually occurs during rush hour, between 4pm and 7pm. So, be sure to plan around these hours to reduce frustration and lost time.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that Israeli drivers have earned a reputation for being very impatient (think New York with more hand motions). This was the number one complaint among tourists visiting the country. One of the best safety driving tips in Israel is to be prepared to utilize your best defensive driving skills. Now that you’re well-informed, don’t be afraid to gas up the car and see all of the wonders that this marvelous country has to offer.
Please Drive Safetly and Enjoy your Vacation!