United States warns Americans to drive carefully in Cuba
Traffic accidents in Cuba involving U.S. citizens are on the rise, and the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana issued a warning that several Americans are not able to leave the island nation because of the accidents.
The mission urged Americans to take extra safety precautions when driving to avoid accidents. Two U.S. citizens were arrested for driving accidents in the past months, while two others are under house arrest. An additional three U.S. citizens are being detained due to accident related offenses, according to a statement made by the U.S. mission in Havana.
In Cuba, prison sentences for vehicle accidents can last as long as 10 years. Witnesses and those injured in the accident can be forced to remain in Cuba while the case is being investigated.
The warning gave by the mission suggests that car accidents are now the leading cause of accidental death in Cuba.
Cuba’s streets and highways are in notoriously bad shape. Many highways lack lights, secondary roads are narrow and in bad condition. Many roads are crowded by pedestrians on bicycles and horseback.
Many cars in Cuba are also old, due to the U.S. embargo, and lack modern features such as turning signals. Driving in Cuba is plagued by older cars and poor driving conditions. We recommend always being alert while operating a vehicle in the country.