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Your dream trip to Okinawa and driving in Okinawa. If any accident happens, the trip will be ruined. In fact, the number of serious car accidents caused by visiters is very low. However, there are many minor car accidents caused by foreign drivers. In this article, several useful information on driving in Okinawa will be introduced. Don’t think “I’m okay, don’t worry!” Let’s read it!
Safe driving tips in Okinawa:
You should first understand about the characteristics of rental car accidents in Okinawa.
You’ll be surprised to know that more than half of car accidents happen in parking lots, such as hitting the parking walls, poles and other vehicles. When parking in an unfamiliar place, you are suggested to ask a passenger get off the vehicle and give you direction. It’s a good way to prevent car accidents.
· Time zone:
Many car accidents happen during the lunch period, mainly from 12:00 to 14:00. The feeling of fullness may increase the risk of car accidents by carelessness. Make sure safe driving especially after the lunch.
Around half of car accidents are driven by young generations mostly from the 10s to 20s. It”s caused by being unfamiliar with driving, and being driven a different car than usual. If you’re planning to have a trip with only young people, it’s important to prepare well for driving, such as checking weather forecast and road information of planned drive course before departure.
The following are the six points to be aware of when driving in Okinawa:
1. The roads in Okinawa are slippery when wet
Local roads in Okinawa become very slippery when wet. According to the most widely-believed theory, it’ becasuse the asphalt contains limestone. During or after raining, remember to drive with a proper distance and reduce the speed.
2. Be careful not to run onto sidewalk curbs!
You should pay attention to bollards, poles and curbs on the shoulder roads. Also, be careful not to hit other vehicles or wall when opening the car doors. In particular, there is a difference of left-hand traffic (eg. Taiwan and Korea) and right-hand traffic (Japan), it maybe a bit difficult for foreign drivers to get the proper distance with the curbs.
3. Make sure to stop your vehicle
Obey the traffic signals and make sure that you stop the vehicle at the intersection with a “STOP” traffic signal. In Japan, pedestrians are first priority, so be careful when driving in the crowded place.
4. Mobile phone use while driving is banned.
If you use mobile phones while driving, a penalty of 50,000 yen or less will be incurred. It is a violation of law to hold a mobile phone in hand to operate the touch screen or talk.
5. Do not operate the car navigation system while driving
Many drivers operate car navigation system or Google Map while driving, but it’s very dangerous. Keep in mind that park your car in a safe place before operate the car navigation system. There are some types of car navigation system that can be used only when the parking brake is applied.
6. Be careful of parking lot accidents!
As mentioned above, more than half of car accidents happen by carelessness in parking lots. Remember to check safety around the vehicle when parking. It’s a way to ask a passenger get off the vehicle and give direction to you. Make sure you stop the car and check safety around the vehicle before leaving from a parking lot of tourist facilities, hotels or convenience stores.
Tips to prevent parking lot accidents:
1. Drive slowly
2. Check safety around the vehicle
3. Passenger get off the vehicle and give direction
“It’s a common sence!” “I’ve already known that.” Don’t you think that? But actually, many drivers forget to check safety when they get used to driving in Okinawa. Please remember that “Accident is likely to happen once you get used to driving. Be careful.”