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For America drivers getting behind the wheel in Jamaica can be a bit of an adventure. In the main towns the roads can be quite congested, and the streets can be tight and narrow.
Traffic is generally light outside of towns, but the roads in the countryside can be frequented by domestic animals and even livestock. Likewise, the roads can be narrow and winding, so be prepared to give up the right of way to oncoming traffic or the occasional animal. Driving is English style with the steering wheel on the right, while you’ll be driving on the left side.
If you decide to head out to do some exploring, you might be wise to consider renting an SUB. The roads are often described as fair to good in the towns, and rugged in the more rural areas. Be sure to buckle up for safety, as it is now the law in Jamaica as well. A US drivers license is valid in Jamaica for one year, and you must be 21 years or older. Watch the speed, as the traffic police show little pity. There are gas stations throughout the island, and most are opened every day.
Be especially cautious when driving after the sun goes down. Many drivers will use their high beams, and you’re bound to encounter motorists with only one headlight. It is not uncommon to see vehicles that are left on the roadside without warning lights or markers, so be careful around those tight turns. If you should break down at night contact the police, and be wary of other offers to help.
But don’t be put off by honking horns. Jamaicans are generally a laid back people and it is their way to say welcome and hello!