Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
While in Honduras, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Honduras is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Because of crime, poor road conditions, and heavy commercial truck traffic, driving can be very dangerous, and travelers should carry a cellular phone in case of an emergency. Travelers should exercise extreme caution while driving on isolated stretches of road and passing on mountainous curves. Rockslides are common, especially in the rainy season (May through December). Traffic signs, even on major highways, are often inadequate, and streets in the major cities are often unmarked. Travelers should always drive with their doors locked and windows rolled up to avoid potential robberies at traffic lights and other places such as congested downtown streets. Honduran roads are poorly lit and poorly marked. Vehicles are often driven at night without adequate illumination, and animals and people wander onto the roads at all hours. For these reasons, and because of the high incidence of crime, the U.S. Embassy discourages car and bus travel after dark.
Major cities are connected by an inconsistently maintained system of paved roads. While the main road network is being upgraded and widened in key positions, most of it consists of only two lanes.
Significant construction on the highway between Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula will likely continue through 2013, so drivers can expect delays. Many secondary roads in Honduras are unpaved. During the rainy season, even major highways are often closed due to rockslides and flooding from heavy rains.
In the event of an accident, contact the Honduran Transit Authority (“Transito”) immediately. It may be contacted either directly through local numbers, or through the national emergency number, 199. Honduran law requires that no vehicles involved in an accident be moved until Transit Authority agents arrive, not even to clear a traffic obstruction, unless you are in serious physical danger. Besides informing the Transit Authority, car insurance companies should be notified as soon as possible. Personal identification documents, including driver’s licenses, copies of passports, and vehicle registration cards should be carried while driving.
In addition to incidents of carjacking and robbery on the main highway, CA-5, between San Pedro Sula and Siguatepeque in the lake area, similar incidents have occurred on the highway between San Pedro Sula and Tela, with the greatest risk near the palm tree plantations near El Progreso. These carjackings and robberies have targeted SUVs and usually occur at night; therefore, driving at night is highly discouraged. In Olancho, on the road from Juticalpa to Telica, and from the turn off to Gualaco on Route 39 to San Esteban and Bonito Oriental, rival criminal elements have engaged in violent acts against one another. Travelers should avoid this road. In addition, delivery trucks throughout Honduras are common targets of highway robberies.
Some of the most dangerous stretches for road travel include: Tegucigalpa to Choluteca, because of dangerous mountain curves, and El Progreso to La Ceiba, because of animal crossings and the poor condition of bridges from flooding. On July 11, 2011, a bus overturned nine miles after Santa Rosa de Copan en route to San Pedro Sula, killing ten people and injuring 20.
The only recommended route to the north coast from the south is CA-5 to route 21 to CA-13 via Tela to La Ceiba and Trujillo. Hijackings of private and commercial vehicles from the United States to Honduras have occurred. While Honduras and the United States have signed and ratified a Stolen Vehicle Treaty, existing Honduran laws protect good faith buyers (even of stolen vehicles), so the recovery and return of these vehicles to their original owners is not guaranteed. Vehicle insurance may mitigate loss; please check with the National Insurance Crime Bureau or with private insurance carriers about coverage details.
You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.