Traffic and Road Conditions in Sweden

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Sweden, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. You can use a valid U.S. driver's license while visiting Sweden, but you must be at least 18 years old to drive. Driving is on the right in Sweden as in the United States. Road signs use standard international symbols and Swedish text. Many urban streets have traffic lanes reserved for public transportation only. Swedish roads are comparable to those in the United States, though secondary roads may be less heavily traveled. The secondary routes often narrow to two lanes with a wider shoulder. Slower vehicles are expected to move onto the shoulder to allow faster moving vehicles to pass. All vehicles on the road must have their headlights turned on, no matter the time of day. You must use snow tires between December 1 and March 31, and you should be experienced driving on ice and snow, if you are going to drive in the winter. Gas stations in rural areas can be far apart. Some gas stations are unattended and require a credit card with a chip to purchase fuel; some U.S. banks will issue this type of card upon request. You must use seat belts, and children under the age of seven must be seated in approved child or booster seats. The maximum speed limit is 110 kilometers per hour (approximately 66 miles per hour). Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs, is considered a very serious offense. The maximum legal blood-alcohol level is .02-- much lower than in the United States. Swedish police often conduct alcohol tests on roads and highways. The rules are strictly enforced and fines can be severe, including possible jail sentences.

Public transport in Sweden is the recommended method of travel. Passenger trains, intercity buses, and airplanes provide regular service over longer distances. Public transportation in urban centers includes buses, subways, trams, suburban trains, and taxis. Taxis are more expensive than in major U.S. cities. Most local residents use public transport in Stockholm, as parking can be hard to find and expensive. The bus, train, and subway systems are considered safe. Cyclists are common on many roads, especially in urban areas.

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2019 edition