Traffic and Road Conditions in Egypt

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Egypt, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Egypt is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Driving in Egypt, a country with one of the world’s highest rates of road fatalities per mile driven, is a challenge. Even seasoned residents of Cairo must use extraordinary care and situational awareness to navigate the hectic streets of the capital. Traffic rules routinely are ignored. Any visiting U.S. citizens thinking about driving in Cairo should carefully consider their options, take the utmost precautions, and drive defensively. Drivers should be prepared for motorists not using their headlights at night; few, if any, road markings; vehicles traveling at high speeds; vehicles traveling the wrong way on one-way streets; divided highways and connecting ramps; pedestrians dodging in and out of traffic; and a variety of animals on the roads. Traffic lights in Cairo are not functional. Instead, major intersections are staffed by police who gesture to indicate which cars may move. Pedestrians should exercise extreme caution when traversing roadways, especially in high-volume/high-velocity streets such as Cairo's Corniche, which follows the east bank of the Nile River. Motorists in Egypt should be especially cautious during the rare winter rains, which can cause extremely slippery road surfaces or localized flooding.

Accidents involving public mini- and microbuses are frequent, including serious incidents involving fatalities. Riders also are subject to pick-pocketing and other crimes. For these reasons, the Embassy strongly recommends that its personnel not use them. Intercity roads are generally in good condition, but unmarked surfaces, stray animals, and vehicles that halt or turn without warning are among the many hazards that can be encountered on highways. Disabled vehicles or motorists who do not use their lights after dark pose additional dangers. U.S. Embassy personnel in Egypt are prohibited from traveling by road outside Cairo after sunset. In addition, some roads, especially in the Sinai and southeastern part of the country, are off-limits to foreigners. Traffic warning signs should be respected. Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of Egypt’s national tourist office and national authority for road safety.

Trains are usually a safe means of transportation in Egypt. However, there have been several collisions of trains and traffic accidents on railway tracks between 2009-2013 in the greater Cairo and Upper Egypt areas where a number of Egyptian nationals were killed or injured.


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