Uganda car rental safety tips
Car rental insurance
You should make sure that you have car rental insurance while driving in Uganda. This is more of a monetary back up in case of unforeseen problem that may happen while traveling. Ensure that the insurance covers all sorts of problems, you may face while on the road. There is what we call comprehensive insurance and third party insurance that are normally used by most Uganda car rental companies. The latter insurance policies make the driver less liable of any problems that may happen to the car and third party property while driving in Uganda.
Inspection of car before leaving
It is recommendable to make a thorough inspection of the car hire before you set off for your journey. Make sure you check the rental car for the physical damages like body dents, broken mirrors, reaped seats, scratches. Also, take an extra mile and test the mechanical condition of the car by test driving. Ask the car rental provider about the mechanical condition.
Carry some safety tools
In addition to the above, you should make sure you carry some car tools like a juke, piers, water, lubricants, and a spare tire. These can help you in case of a minor mechanic breakdown, a flat tire.
Make sure that you have all the required and useful documentation when driving including the driving license. Ensure that you have a GPS navigator or well up to date Uganda maps of all the locations and routes to your destination.
Mind the passengers and luggage
It is also very important to take precaution of protecting you and the passengers in the car. Be very vigilant while driving in unfamiliar areas in Uganda. You have to keep your window closed when the car is parked. Also, keep your belonging in the trunk, do not pull over in strange places and also never give a lift to any stranger.
Adhere to the Speed Limits:
It is very important to observe the speed limit while driving in Uganda. Speeding is the number one cause of road accidents in Uganda.
The speed limit in Uganda is 80km/hr along the highways. Areas with settlements or with an urban setting drive at speed of 50km/hr. The national parks or other protected areas, it is 40km/hr. These are the most common speed limits. However, there are some special cases where by you have to drive in accordance to the speed indicated on the road sign posts.
Avoid driving on Shoulders:
Do not drive on the shoulders of the roads. Most Ugandan roads are narrow and there are always cars parking at the ending and also pedestrians moving along the ways. Therefore, when driving on the shoulders you are likely to bump into one and thus causing an accident. Worse still, it is a criminal offense to drive on shoulders as it is stated as reckless driving.
Observe the Road Signs:
Please observe all the radars and the road sign posts while driving in Uganda. These are the best guidelines to lead you safe on the road since they are put with the purpose of avoiding unforeseen problems like accidents.
Uganda has universal road signs and all of them written in the English language so in case you are not well conversant with a few road signs ask us to help out.
Keep a distance from other vehicles:
Drive at the length of 5 meters away from another car as this is so important. You can never know what your counterpart is going to do. Some of them fail to put up indicators that they are stopping or making a turn and end up running into another car.
Driving so close to another car is one of the main causes of accidents most especially in the urban towns of Uganda during the traffic jam situations. It is also very commendable to low the car lights when passing by or come near another vehicle.
Keep to the recommended driving times:
It is commendable to drive in Uganda between 6am to 7pm as this is the safest time to drive a car in other words, always endeavor to drive before it gets dark. Uganda roads are narrow and some have potholes so when it is dark, it is very easy to hit a pothole or get off the road since one loses some of his/her sight in the dark.
Do not drink and drive:
Do not drive a car under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Remember these impair the brain and one loses his/her judgment as one can never know the right speed to drive and also the other road users around him. Drunk driving is one of the major causes of road accidents in the world. It is also a crime to drink and drive in Uganda.
Do not use a mobile phone while driving:
Do not speak on your cell phone while driving as you can get carried away by the person on phone and lose your focus on driving and end up running into another car or property along the way.