Defensive driving is a must in the Dominican Republic

Dolores

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Last week, national newspapers published many articles on highway fatalities. The victimsranged from a woman who did not have a helmet to a small group of United States citizens whocrashed their SUV into a small bus. Other situations reported include a Police sargeant who crashed hissmall motorcycle and died, and two fatalities in Montecristi in a car accident on the highwaybetween that city and Dajabon.

Analysts over the past five years have noted that speed and alcohol are two of the main factors in these terrible accidents, along with poor lighting, ignorance of basic traffic rules, and many novice drivers.

In a Puerto Plata incident, the three Americans were identified only by their initials, and a Dominican female who was injured was identified by her full name.

The eight fatalities noted in the newspaper this past week most likely are less than the real number ofaccident...

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josh2203

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Dec 5, 2013
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I have a rule for driving here: Everybody has the right of way!!!, but me.
Not quite right either, in my opinion: Best to be smart and assess every situation separately, and yes, your advise is valid if there is speed involved.

Driving in Santo Domingo Norte a decade ago in a tapon (pedestrians walked way faster than the traffic), I learned how to drive from bumper to bumper. I had to, I would not have moved anywhere otherwise, as nobody gives way. All the years doing that, I've collided with zero vehicles.

But yes, if the speed is anything higher than that of the pedestrians, everyone else has right of way, and even then I have to be smart how to move... Works indeed...
 
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Cdn_Gringo

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Apr 29, 2014
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I have never seen a driver taking instruction from a driving school here. It is no surprise that defensive driving techniques are a completely foreign concept to all but some foreign trained drivers. Personal observations suggest that Dominican drivers rarely consider any other road users when they make a driving control decision.
 

XTraveller

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2010
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If you cherish your life defensive driving is the way to go here. If you had defensive driving courses driving here is practice to what you learned and can not be better simulated.
 

Kricke87

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2021
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I think you are all looking at this from the wrong point of view. Yes, it's true every day a few people die or are victims of traffic accidents. However, how many more are NOT involved in any accidents everyday?
So then, more people that are driving carelessly survive everyday than those who are victims.

At least I guess that's how the average Dominican is thinking about it. "I have driven on one wheel thousands of times and I have never had an accident, so why stop now while I'm a hot streak?"
 

SantiagoDR

The "REAL" SantiagoDR
Jan 12, 2006
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Yesterday I was backing out of a parking space and was almost all the way out when in the mirror appeared a white van stopping behind me.

I was within inches of hitting it broadsided.

SO MANY INCONSIDERATE STUPID F...ING ARSHOLES HERE.
 

SantiagoDR

The "REAL" SantiagoDR
Jan 12, 2006
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... PS: The reason the van stopped behind me was because EXIT traffic was backed up ..... THEY HAD NOWHERE TO GO !!!
 

josh2203

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Dec 5, 2013
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I have never seen a driver taking instruction from a driving school here.
I have, as my wife went to driving school in POP, but there was a "huge problem": Apparently, that's according to the driving school, no idea if this is a fact: The instructors are not allowed to take the students to anywhere else than to Malecon in POP, so all that they in fact do is drive circles in the Malecon, a four lane street with no traffic lights or anything. During the lessons, there is no turning to other streets involved (other than going back to the base of the school), no traffic lights, no lane change, nothing.

Then, they are so bold to ask us if it would be fine that the instructor takes us with our car to the city center while my wife has the learning permit. I had to ask twice what they meant and why would they/we do that, as that just sounded stupid... We politely declined as that would have made no sense, I can do that myself. Nothing more were spoken with the driving school, my wife completed the ridiculous tests and they gave her the license. THEN, she actually started learning, in our car, me instructing. Success...

I mean, the process from the beginning to the end was just full sh*t, only goal was her to have the plastic to present to DIGESETT and then start learning... That being said, my wife's brother-in-law was the one who taught my wife's sister...
 

AlterEgo

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Jan 9, 2009
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To be honest, I’m always surprised that there aren’t more accidents, especially in Santo Domingo. How they don’t hit each other on every block is amazing, it’s like an elaborate formal dance like in an old movie.
 

NanSanPedro

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Apr 12, 2019
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It's very frustrating. I won't drive in the capital unless there's a bonafide emergency Even just going from Boca Chica to San Isidro needs a ton of patience, which I don't possess. There's just way too much stupid behind the wheel of the drivers I see.
 
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JD Jones

Moderator:North Coast,Santo Domingo,SW Coast,Covid
Jan 7, 2016
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It really boils down to having an intimate knowledge of how Dominicans drive which you only acquire driving here for years. Once you have that knowledge, it makes driving here much easier.
 

Farmer

Antiguo
Dec 2, 2003
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And once you begin to learn how to manage the roads here, you take a trip home. And two things happen. First, on the way home from the airport your spouse is telling you to slow down, quit tail-gaiting, use your signals, quit cutting people off, roll up your window nobody here understands what you're doing with your hand and on and on. Secondly, you relax when you realize driving back home is so,so easy.
 

Tarheel

Well-known member
Dec 19, 2005
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It really boils down to having an intimate knowledge of how Dominicans drive which you only acquire driving here for years. Once you have that knowledge, it makes driving here much easier.
I think you are right JD. I have driven with Dominicans that told me how other drivers react to different situations on the road. An example is using your horn (which can get you killed by the other driver in the US). In the DR horns are used to communicate with other drivers nearby. Nobody gets angry when you use your horn. Now I am not saying that there aren't multitudes of crazy drivers in the DR.
 

RDKNIGHT

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Mar 13, 2017
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I have never seen a driver taking instruction from a driving school here. It is no surprise that defensive driving techniques are a completely foreign concept to all but some foreign trained drivers. Personal observations suggest that Dominican drivers rarely consider any other road users when they make a driving control decision.
it's just like when you're waiting online in the supermarket they cut right in front of you and act like nothing like you're not even there same same stuff. it all comes down to lack of education .. that's why I don't even waste my time arguing with a un educated fool....
 

RDKNIGHT

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Mar 13, 2017
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It's very frustrating. I won't drive in the capital unless there's a bonafide emergency Even just going from Boca Chica to San Isidro needs a ton of patience, which I don't possess. There's just way too much stupid behind the wheel of the drivers I see.
drive on late Saturdays and Sundays after that get out of doge
 
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