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Jordan, Middle East, Travel

Tips for Driving in Jordan

December 16, 2014

When I started researching my trip to Jordan, I thought I would rent and car and do everything by myself. Because I live so close to Jordan, I have a few Jordanian friends that live in Qatar and they advised against it.  Now that I have been, I would drive it myself.  But there are a few things I noticed in Jordan that I will share with you.

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  • Signaling and passing –  in the US, most people use their turns signals to indicate they are changing lanes or turning. In Jordan, I noticed that the right side of many roads were rough and many drivers didn’t want to drive on them. They would give in the left lane and stay there no matter how much wanted to pass them.  They would turn on their right turn signal to indicate to you to pass them on the right! *this is what my guide told me and seemed to be pretty common.
  • Flashing lights – in Jordan, people flash their lights at you when they want you to get over because they are usually speeding and don’t want to slow down.  This is pretty common practice all over the Middle East. Unless you have experience with this, I suggest you get over as soon as you are able and if you can’t turn on your turn signal to indicate you will when you are able.
  • Lanes- I also noticed that lane markers were missing in many places in Jordan and people drift all over the roads.  Just be alert.
  • Signage and lighting – there is signage for major stops and turn offs, but they often seemed to appear right when you need to turn. I suggest driving slow when you think you are nearing your turn.  Also, in parts of the country I didn’t see lots of lighting, so you might avoid driving at night.
  • Mountains – the most scary thing while driving in Jordan was the mountain driving (well for me because I am afraid of heights!) Drive slow. At one point the road had fallen away! There was a detour, but if you had come on it too fast you might have driven past the small orange cone. Another reason to drive during the day only!

I certainly plan on renting a car the next time I go to Jordan. I feel more comfortable now that I have seen it. It also means I can stop where I want to along the way. Oh, and I will rent a 4×4 vehicle.