Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
While in Jordan, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Jordan is provided for general reference only and may not be completely accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
U.S. Embassy Amman has advised its employees to avoid driving at night outside the Amman metropolitan area due to road conditions, poorly lit rural roads, and erratic behavior by other drivers.
It is typical for drivers in Jordan to not signal turns or lane changes. Drivers can also be aggressive, and cars operate very closely together on the highways. Jordanian roads are particularly treacherous during the rainy season, which runs from December to March. Driving in Amman is also more hazardous in the summer months of June to September when Jordan experiences an influx of visitors from other countries in the region. Highways are more crowded around the Muslim holidays when many Jordanian expatriates return to Jordan for family visits. Poor lighting and road conditions prevail, so extra caution must be exercised at all times, especially when driving at night.
The Desert Highway outside Aqaba, a popular tourist destination, is particularly dangerous because it is narrow, winding, steep, and crowded with trucks. If possible, you should try to avoid this area at night. When driving in both urban and rural areas, motorists should be aware of both unmarked speed bumps and livestock, including camels, sheep, and goats. Collisions between livestock and automobiles are common.
As a result of all these factors, traffic accidents are very frequent and continue to be the largest cause of injury and death in Jordan. Drivers and passengers are required to wear seatbelts, and all cars must have a fire extinguisher and warning triangle in the vehicle. Child car seats are not required by law. Violators of speed limits may be assessed fines up to US $140. Police routinely pull over reckless drivers as well as those believed to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Talking on a cell phone while driving is officially prohibited, although the practice is common. If stopped by police, drivers may face a fine. Licensed drivers must carry local third-party insurance with sufficient coverage for accidents resulting in injury or death. Drivers who are involved in an accident should remain at the scene and immediately call the police and emergency personnel in case injuries have occurred. Police may hold the driver’s license or passport in order to prevent the driver from fleeing. Identification documents can be recovered at the police station.
Landmines are often located within two miles of military installations and borders, including the popular Dead Sea area. Minefields are usually fenced off and marked with skull-and-crossbones notices, but the fences and signs may be in poor repair or hard to see. Avoiding these areas reduces the risk of accidentally setting off a mine.
Jordan has abundant bus and taxi services. Please see the Crime section for more information about incidents of sexual harassment and assault involving taxi drivers and important safety tips when using public or private transportation in Jordan. Visitors should arrange for their transportation needs via their hotel and should request that drivers not pick up additional passengers en route to their destinations. We do not recommend other forms of public transportation. Jordanian security authorities often establish checkpoints, especially on roads leading to popular tourist destinations, where drivers are expected to stop and present their identity documents. All drivers should stop when directed to do so and comply with the instructions provided to them by the authorities.
Emergencies should be referred to the Civil Defense Department at telephone number 199. Visit the website of Jordan’sMinistry of Tourism and Antiquities. For information on driving regulations, please contact the Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan at 3504 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008, by telephone at (202) 966-2664.
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.