Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
While in Samoa, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. This information for Samoa is provided as a general reference, and it may not be the case in all locations or circumstances.
Urban roads in Apia and the main roads circumnavigating and crossing the island are all generally kept in fair condition though bumps and potholes are common. Side streets tend to be gravel or dirt and their condition varies considerably, particularly during the rainy season when ruts and bumps develop. Roads outside Apia are often narrow, winding, relatively steep, with narrow or no shoulders, and poorly lighted. Pedestrians as well as vehicles and livestock regularly travel these roads. Due to poor and deteriorating road conditions, night driving on unlit rural roads can be dangerous and should be avoided if possible. Roads in Samoa often traverse small streams. You should exercise extreme caution when fording these streams, which can become swollen and dangerous with little warning. Vehicles should never enter a stream if the roadbed is not visible or if the water’s depth is more than the vehicle’s clearance.
Taxis are widely available and used by Samoans and visitors alike. However, some are unlicensed, so you should use care in choosing a taxi and driver. Buses are slow, crowded, uncomfortable, undependable, and rarely used by visitors. You can use rental cars, but be aware that limited roadside assistance is available. Most major roads are tar-sealed, but secondary roads are predominantly dirt and gravel and may be rough and/or overgrown with vegetation. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended for travel on these roads. You should be aware that vehicle safety regulations are rarely enforced, and traffic violations occur routinely.
In September 2009, Samoa switched from driving on the right side of the road (as in the United States) to driving on the left side (as in the United Kingdom). Some vehicles in Samoa remain left-hand drive, including rental vehicles and public transportation. Drivers should familiarize themselves with operating requirements and local traffic laws before operating a vehicle in Samoa.
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.