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how safe will it be to drive at night from kona to Hilo?

Huntington Beach...
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how safe will it be to drive at night from kona to Hilo?

our flight won't landed till 9pm - mostly so my daughter won't miss too much form school on a Friday, we are landing @ Kona but the 1st hotel night is located at Hilo.

read that not much lights on the Big Island roads? and by the topo like maps we might be traveling over mountainous roads? to get to Hilo.- will that be safe? My husband have driven many a mountain roads.

Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: how safe will it be to drive at night from kona to Hilo?

No, it's not a good idea at all. 9pm Hawaii time will be midnight (or close) your time so you will be tired. The roads going west to east are incredibly dark, windy,and prone to treacherous rains. Unfortunately alcohol impaired drivers are a real problem on this island, especially on weekends. It will take you about 2 1/2 - 3 hours at night, making your arrival time in Hilo around 3am your time. Please reconsider, and spend the night on the west side or fly into Hilo.

Island of Hawaii...
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2. Re: how safe will it be to drive at night from kona to Hilo?

Not safe. Odds are you will survive but no guarantee.

HPD issued a special caution to motorists today to drive more safely. In early August, fatalities for 2012 already exceed the year end total for 2010. That is not good!

"not much lights" is an understatement. There are no lIghts on the stretches between villages, which is most of the way. Add to that there is always oncoming traffic, so you can't utilize your high beams most of the time.

The road is not hard to drive when you can see it, but it is hard to see in the rain. It is pouring on Hamakua as I type this. Because the road has curves and narrow old bridges with no shoulder, there is little margin of error. Stray a foot to either side and it could be death, and I'm not kidding.

Please be safe. On the selfish side, it could be my friends and family whom you endanger by driving on an unknown road at night because you booked a room before asking if it was a good idea. Don't kill or maim yourself or my loved ones for a reason like that. You did the smart thing by asking.

Edited: 4:40 am, August 10, 2012
Dormansland, United...
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3. Re: how safe will it be to drive at night from kona to Hilo?

Thanks for asking the question Roxanne as I was going to ask it. United Airlines changed the time of the flight from LA which means we know arrive in Kona at 19.30. After collecting the hire car, we need to drive to Volcano.

What is the drive like with regards to the southern route? We have driven this route from Volcano to Kona during the day however I believe it will be totally different at night.

I'm not sure if Shea and Kamaainak are talking about the saddle road route to Hilo from Kona or on Highway 19.

I am inclined to go with the view of the experts who actually know and live on the island, however my boyfriend thinks he somehow knows better and I will be forcing him to read this post!

4. Re: how safe will it be to drive at night from kona to Hilo?

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Removed on: 7:34 pm, August 11, 2012
Chicagoland
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5. Re: how safe will it be to drive at night from kona to Hilo?

I'll be blunt: This is stupid. Stay overnight in Kona or fly into ITO -- one or the other; no further discussion except to say, "This IS supposed to be a vacation, isn't it?"

Big Island, Hawaii
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6. Re: how safe will it be to drive at night from kona to Hilo?

We're talking not just about the saddle, but all three routes. None are really safer than the other at night. In fact if you held a gun to my head and made me choose one, I'd say drive the Saddle, it's the fastest, widest (in most places) and easiest, and even it can be a death trap, pitch black, giant pigs running out, nothing but lava fields on either side, no facilities or stops or place to get help, sudden wicked weather possible.

Of course I've had to make this drive at night many times over the years, but even I wouldn't do it jet lagged as it requires too much concentration, and the many impaired drivers would worry me. And I know these roads extremely well. Add in unfamiliarity and it's a recipe for disaster.

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7. Re: how safe will it be to drive at night from kona to Hilo?

You could not pay me.......to make the trip from west to east after sundown......no matter the route North South, Saddle.

To contemplate the journey after getting off a flight from the Mainland(& perhaps beyond)......is extremely ill advised.

KK and Shea offer up some excellent rationale as to why it would not be wise. I can only echo their sentiments and comment that those roads at night are like no other anywhere.

It matters not.....one's driving prowess.....even if you are familiar with the particular stretch of Hwy and have driven it many times as the locals and residents have...there are just too many dangerous variables.

The lighting is poor....to non-existent. The torrential rains are blinding....the rockslides over the hwy are not uncommon...the drop- offs along the gulches......and then what you have absolutely no control......those that choose to imbibe and get behind the wheel.

Dormansland, United...
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8. Re: how safe will it be to drive at night from kona to Hilo?

I can't really argue with that sort of advice to be honest. Back to the travel agent tomorrow to sort something out.

Huntington Beach...
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9. Re: how safe will it be to drive at night from kona to Hilo?

thanks a bunch KK, will definitely try to change our plans and maybe even the time of year to come - will Easter time be OK? or just try to book a Kona room that night?

will there be TONS of rain then? I'm OK with occ. showers .which we encounter last time we were in Maui. but will it 'tend to pour' every day? - I know it's all up to God and the weather, but just checking ?

10. Re: how safe will it be to drive at night from kona to Hilo?

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Removed on: 7:34 pm, August 11, 2012
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