People walking around with their head in the clouds is a common occurrence but driving around with their head in the Northern Lights? That’s a new one!
The Northern Lights, aka aurora borealis, are a beautiful display of colourful lights in the sky which are visible in places close to the north pole.
See also: Northern Lights in Iceland
Iceland is one of the most popular destinations for those wishing to catch a glimpse of this spectacular natural phenomenon. However, if visitors are not careful, these aurora borealis hunters might be a danger to themselves and others.
Police in Iceland have warned that tourists driving around looking for Northern Lights often display hazardous behaviour. Specifically breaking too suddenly on the roads when they spot the majestic display of lights. Stopping can obviously cause collisions with other vehicles.
One might consider ‘not stopping in the middle of the road’ to be common sense but tourists have been known to do so, even in complete darkness.
It’s not just other cars crashing into these tourists that the police worry about. The drivers’ inexperience driving in extreme weather conditions can also make them dangerous. Factors which make driving in Iceland a challenge include darkness, strong winds and the everchanging temperatures and precipitation.
See also: Weather in Iceland
Icelanders sometimes say that if you don’t like the weather here, just wait five minutes. This is barely an exaggeration and it’s one of the reasons you have to be careful while driving, especially in the winter months.
A common cause of car accidents in Iceland is the thin film of extremely slippery ice which forms on the roads when the temperature drops below zero degrees Celsius shortly after it rains.
So if you’re planning a trip to Iceland don’t forget: your safety is more important than getting a photo of the night sky, no matter how pretty it looks.
See also: Northern Lights Photography
If you’re driving, keep your eyes off the skies and on the icy roads until you’ve pulled over at a safe stop. Stopping on the side of a road in the countryside can interrupt traffic and cause accidents, so make sure you find a place somewhere off the main road and that your car is visible.
To be extra safe it’s best to book a Northern Lights tour so you don’t have to drive at all on your search for the mystical beauty known as Aurora Borealis.
See also: Northern Lights Bus Tour