No Seat Belts on This Road! Winter Drive on an Ice Road in Estonia

One of the most unusual roads to take while in Estonia is a seasonal ice road.

On these roads, you are literally driving on the sea and a ferry boat has its own path just a few hundred meters from the ice road for cars. What makes this experience very unique is that these roads have very different speed limits. You can drive at less than 25 km/h or 40-70 km/h. At the speed of 25-40 km/h, a vehicle may create resonance that may in turn induce the breaking of ice, if driven for too long in this speed range.

Other rules to follow include mandatory separation of 250m between vehicles, and a prohibition on wearing seat belts, just in case you need to get out of the car quickly.

The official ice roads are strictly monitored and ice conditions are checked few times a day, while the unofficial ice roads are extremely hazardous and there are fatal accidents almost every year.

The video shot here was done on a very foggy day on an ice road connecting Rohuküla and the Vormsi island, when the visibility was very poor, making the whole driving experience as a moment from another apocalyptic movie out of Hollywood.

For this season all ice roads in Estonia are now closed, but if the winter is cold enough again next year, then there will be up to 7 roads open, depending on the ice conditions.

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