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How to Read the Road Conditions in Iceland

1. October, 2018

The Road Administration of Iceland (Vegagerðin) has a frequently updated website with conditions of the main roads all around the country. Road conditions are indicated by colour, with some icons offering additional information.

Once on the homepage, you see if there are any active road alerts such as in the image below. Click on the map icon to see the current road conditions.

 

Here you can see the road conditions map showing a variety of different colours and conditions. In the bottom left hand corner you can see a time stamp of when the information was last updated.

If you click on a region you can get a closer look at the road conditions in that area.

Here you can see the legend for the colours. If you click on the legend you can read detailed descriptions of what each colour means.

Here you can see the legend for the icons. If you click on the legend you can read detailed descriptions of the icons.

It is important to check the road conditions throughout the day as conditions can change. You should also check it when entering a new area as the conditions can change.

Here you can see webcams of the main roads in Iceland. This can help give you a better idea of the conditions in the area you plan to travel to. Below is a picture of what the map looks like. Simply click on the camera icons to see the webcams in that area. On this map are arrows which indicate wind gust speed in an area. You can also see if a road is paved or gravel. The legend for the wind gust speed and road type is in the bottom right hand corner of the page.

Depending on your type of vehicle, your type of tires, the weather and the road conditions you may have to alter your travel plan.

Winter tires are allowed all year round and summer tires are allowed all year round. The requirements for tires do not apply to the usage of winter or summer tires, only to tread depth of tires and to studded tires. The following rules apply:

1 November – 14 April: Studded tires allowed (but not mandatory).
Note: Minimum thread depth is 3mm.

15 April – 31 October: Studded tires prohibited.
Note: Minimum thread depth is 1,6mm.

You must adapt your plan to the weather and road conditions to ensure that you have a safe trip.

 

Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue, Tourist Information Center, Bankastræti 2, 101 Reykjavík Iceland safetravel@safetravel.is +354 570-5929 Disclaimer