It a pleasure to travel in Lapland during winter time as well. With these tips, winter driving in Lapland is both safe and enjoyable.
Safe Winter Driving in Utsjoki region
Pay Attention to Weather Conditions and Long Distances in Lapland
You should monitor the weather conditions prior to starting longer road trips. You should take a snow shovel, charged phone, first aid kit, lunch, portable stove and insulated clothing with you. Because of the long distances, it may take long in Lapland for help to arrive. It is more pleasant to wait if you have something to eat and drink and warm clothes on you. If a blizzard is roaring outside, you had better wait until the weather clears up before setting off!
Reindeer in Traffic
In Utsjoki, you often meet reindeer. Particularly in the summer the reindeer flee to the roads to escape the bugs, but there are reindeer in the traffic during all other seasons as well. When you meet reindeer on the road, you should control yourself and slow down your speed to avoid accidents. It is hard to predict the movements of the reindeer. Even if the reindeer is far away, you should lift your foot off the gas, because there may be reindeer closer to you that you have not yet noticed. Caution pays off for some time after passing the reindeer, as there may be other horn heads lying about. It is good to warn upcoming cars by blinking your driving beams. By so doing, you may save the life of a reindeer.
If You Crash with Reindeer or See a Wounded Reindeer, Always Call 112.
Photos of reindeer are an important part of the trip to Lapland for many of us. When taking the photos, you should always remember road safety. We recommend that you do not film until you have reached Utsjoki. By booking a visit to a reindeer farm, you can concentrate on filming safely and can hear about the life of the reindeer in more detail.
Points to Be Considered:
- Adhering to speed limits and monitoring weather conditions. Your reaction speed in challenging weather will considerably improve, when you drop the pace by just 10 kilometres per hour. Keep a safe distance to the driver in front of you and if the snow is dusting, use the fog lights.
- When necessary, take breaks from driving. It is safe and pleasant to drive when you are alert.
- Pack the car so as not to allow a movement of the goods even in a sharp deceleration.
- Reindeer move about in the winter as well. Pay attention to them, since if you see one, there are likely to be more in the vicinity. If you spot the reindeer, you can warn upcoming cars by blinking your lights. You can also download a Porokello (Reindeer bell) app, which alerts you to the whereabouts of the reindeer.
- If driving in winter, be sure that your car is suitable for winter conditions of north. Check that your car has winter tires and good lights. Check your battery, does it keep its charge? Does the car start in cold weather? Many locals favor four wheel drives and additional long throw lights for safety. If you have a diesel car, remember to use winter quality fuel.
Have a pleasant and safe journey and enjoy the beautiful scenery. See you in Utsjoki!
This sustainability website has been created as part of a project on Sustainable Tourism in Utsjoki. The project is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the Regional Council of Lapland and the municipality of Utsjoki, the aim of which is to make Utsjoki an even more responsible travel destination and to steer the travellers to travel in a responsible. More information on the project can be found here (in Finnish only).