Drivers In Estonia Make Ice Road Truckers Look Like Amateurs

Estonia is home to the longest official ice road in Europe, a 15-mile stretch of frozen ice along the country’s coast. Driving on this particular ice road in winter is said to be an unforgettable experience, but if you plan on adding it to your bucket list, you should know it has some rather unconventional driving rules. You can’t drive there after sunset, nor can you wear a seat belt. Drivers must maintain speeds under 16 mph or over 25 mph, as driving at speeds within that range for too long can crack the ice. The tires and the motion of the car apparently create vibrations similar to the bow wave of a ship, which could send drivers to a watery grave. The reason seat belts are banned on the ice road is because in the case of ice cracking, drivers need to exit the vehicle as quickly as possible. It’s also forbidden to stop a vehicle on the ice road. Cars must maintain a minimum distance of at least 820 feet between them and enter the ice road at intervals of at least three minutes. Villagers use the thick ice to bring in supplies from the mainland, and even wild animals like bears, moose and wolves use it to travel to and from islands in search of food. It remains a cheaper and more convenient way to get around than paying for a ferry ride.