Despite the recent improvements in infrastructure, Greece has a high car accident rate when compared to other countries in the EU. Car accidents are in fact the highest cause of death in Greece.
The one lane roads that connect large cities are the most dangerous roads. Be extra careful when you have to overtake slower vehicles, and cross onto the lane going in the opposite direction. If you happen to be stuck behind a slow vehicle such as a slow tractor trailer, the drivers behind you may curse and wave at you in your mirror.
Even when on foot, you should be extra careful when in Greece! Greek drivers don’t tend to respect pedestrians and don’t stop for crosswalks. Greek drivers are often quite aggressive behind the wheel and expect pedestrians to get out of their way.
In recent years, there has been a lot of investment in Greek infrastructure. Greece’s infrastructure is modern and includes airports, paved roads and highways. However, road condition varies depending on which area you are in. Sharp turns are very common in rural areas and the mountain roads are in a bad condition and so often difficult to drive on.
Road signs are both in Greek and Latin alphabets, especially in Athens, however in small villages, the road signs may only be in Greek.
Many country roads have speed limit of 50 km per hour (30 mph) and on larger roads, 70 km per hour (40 mph).
What to do if you have an accident
If a car accident occurs, don’t move your car and wait for the police to arrive, unless your car is in a dangerous position that may lead to another accident. Dial 100 to call the police and swap insurance details and your address with the other driver. This is easier if you know how to speak Greek. It can also be handy to take pictures of the car accident for your insurance company and the police.
The following phone numbers for emergency services are useful:
- Medical Emergency (Αριθμός έκτακτης ανάγκης) - Tel:112
- Fire service (Πυροσβεστική Υπηρεσία) - Tel:199
- Ambulance service (Εθνικό Κέντρο Αμεσης Βοήθειας) - Tel:166
- Police (Άμεση Δράση Αστυνομίας) - Tel:100
- Athens Road Traffic Police (Τροχαία Αθηνών) - Tel:1033 / 210 528 4000