I heard people say that if you learn how to drive in Ukraine, you can drive pretty much anywhere. They also say that Ukraine has bad roads and crazy drivers! So how bad are the Ukrainian roads?
Due to slowly developing economy or to some other unknown to me reasons, the roads in Ukraine have not gotten the proper care in quite a while, for about 30-40 years. Road potholes and patches cover many roads surfaces which makes them uneven and difficult to drive on. Of course Ukrainian government fixed some biggest travel routes, and now we have few good quality highways. But the rest of the Ukrainian roads need a lot of attention!
According to www.gallup.com survey conducted in 148 countries, the most dissatisfied with their local roads and highways were people from sub-Saharan Africa (36%) and the former Soviet Union (36%). Ukraine ranked 133rd place out of 148 countries surveyed. And it was at the bottom of the list among the former Soviet Union countries. Here is what the report said: “In the former Soviet Union, where slightly more than one-third of residents are satisfied with regional roads and highways, road travel is particularly risky. Poor road conditions, unsafe driving behaviors, and ineffective enforcement of laws and regulations are all cited as reasons for the high number of traffic accident-related deaths. Pedestrians are often at greatest risk.”
The poll conducted by AUTO.ria.ua showed that 63% of Ukrainian drivers considered the condition of the roads in their home towns really low. Only 8% of them thought that the quality of their city roads was relatively good. The most satisfied were drivers in Vinnytsia oblast. The worst roads, according to the drivers, were in Ternopil oblast, Cherkasy oblast, Ivano-Frankivsk oblast, and Chernivtsi oblast.
Today I ran into an interesting article about driving in Ukraine, and I want to share it with you “Ukraine Driving-Is It Really That Bad? ” It talks about driving and the conditions of the roads in Ukraine. There is a picture there with a car rear sticking out of a big road hole. When I saw it, it reminded me how my husband and I were in Odessa once, heading out of the city. Suddenly in the middle of the so called highway he exclaimed: “Galyna, what is that in front of us? Is that a tree growing in the middle of the road?!” “No, honey, people put that tree branch inside of a pothole to let other drivers know that there is a big a** hole that they can get stuck in. It is simply a peoples’ warning road sign.” People in Ukraine are very creative and adaptive. They use all kind of tools and methods to protect themselves from unexpected or actually well expected road troubles. The principle is: adapt, overcome and improvise.
Roads in Ukraine are truly disastrous in my opinion. But I hope that it is not going to take 85 years to repair all the roads in Ukraine, like some predict. And let’s hope that Ukrainian government will think about the safety of its people first!
Enjoy the ride and stay safe!