Traffic and Road Conditions in Ukraine

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Ukraine, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.

Generally, roads in Ukraine outside major urban areas are in poor condition and are poorly lighted. U.S. visitors to Ukraine can drive using their U.S. driving licenses for up to 60 days after entering the country; those planning to stay longer need to obtain a Ukrainian driving license.You should drive defensively at all times, since local drivers often disregard traffic rules. Drivers are often poorly trained; many drive without a valid driver's license. Drivers can also be dangerously aggressive and normally do not respect the rights of pedestrians, even at clearly marked pedestrian crossings, and regularly drive on the sidewalks. Pedestrians should also be aware of cars driving or attempting to park on sidewalks. Many cars, including some taxis, do not meet the safety standards common in the United States. There is no tolerance for driving under the influence, and penalties can be steep. Fines are associated with driving while talking on a cell phone.

Due to heavy traffic and congested roads, vehicle accidents happen often in larger Ukrainian cities, especially in Kyiv.If you are involved in an accident in Ukraine, do not move the vehicle from the site of the accident unless it presents a clear safety concern (causing a traffic jam is not considered a safety concern). In practice, this means that even moving a vehicle to the side of the road after an accident may be considered a criminal offense. Local police must be notified and will report to the scene to conduct an investigation. You must wait until the police arrive and complete their report, no matter how long it takes; often this can take several hours. When police arrive, they will decide responsibility, take the drivers’ personal information, and file an accident report. In the vast majority of cases, the police reporting to the scene of an accident will not speak English.

Cross-country travel at night and in winter can be particularly dangerous. The Embassy strongly recommends that visitors and permanent residents of Ukraine refrain from driving after dark outside of major cities. Roadside services such as gas stations and repair facilities are becoming more common, but are far from U.S. standards; travelers should plan accordingly. Western-made or foreign-registered cars have been carjacked.

Disclaimer

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.

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