Traveling Eastern Europe: A non-official Slav`s road etiquette

If you’re going on a road trip, take notice…

Free-Photos (CC0), Pixabay

Besides the traffic rules, in Slavic countries there is a secret etiquette of driving. Every experienced driver knows what the signs and gestures of the other driver mean. However, a novice about such a code of good tones, unfortunately, can`t learn these rules when getting hishers driving license and may find himself in confusing situation. This rules are also unfamiliar for foreign guests, so if you come to one of Slavic countries and decide to take a long-distance road trip, these rules may be helpful, so you don`t freak out on the road, the highway especially.

Messages transmitted by headlight or beeps

If the main beam or emergency light has blinked one short time, then the driver tries to pay attention to something about your vehicle.

Also, these lights are used to expresses gratitude for the warning or the message. As a token of gratitude, for example, for conceding a road, drivers blink both of the turn signals simultaneously.  So if you stepped out of it`s way, and he blinks with emergency lights, don`t worry, it did not brake down right in front of you, the driver just says “Thanks”

On the road is very important to be polite, if you don`t thank that driver, and the other ones notice – no one will give you a pass next time. The drivers warn each other about the nearby danger. It is enough to give two short light signals.

But through times, this sign has transformed and now is used for a completely different purpose: as a result of highly corrupted police in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus etc., there is a tendency to warn drivers about an upcoming traffic police especially if this particular post has “Fan” to check for drivers who go above the speed limit.


If the car driving from behind gives a signal by means of a high beam “in the back”, then the driver asks him to skip.

Blinking headlights of the car moving towards you , – it is possible that they report problems with a low beam or ask them not to blind them with a high beam. Also, this may indicate a danger ahead of the road or an accident on a further distance of the road.

While driving along the road, you can see how trucks or buses produce permanent signals by a left turn signal – this may indicate the danger of overtaking.


If the wagon outruns the car, then at the end of the maneuver the driver of the car must give the light signal with the main beam. So, the driver of the wagon will know that you can complete the overtaking.

A short beep sound will say about the gratitude of the driver.

It is necessary to know that it is better to use the sound signal in cases of extreme necessity, when you need to quickly warn about the danger. It is not necessary to make a signal, expressing your anger and indignation.

Traffic signs transmitted by gestures


On the road you need to pay attention not only to headlight signals, motorists can also sign signs:

The driver, describing a circle in the air, and then pointing downwards, speaks of the flat tire.

If the driver forgot to turn on the headlights, then he will be informed about this “blinking” palm. On the contrary, it’s time to turn off the lights, passing drivers will say, pointing at their eyes.

Pointing his hand to the side of the road, drivers warn about a car failure – it’s better to stop and inspect the vehicle.

“Slapping” gesture in the air means that your trunk is opened, or something is sticking out.

Calls for help


A lot of non-official signs can mean that someone is in the need of helping hand.

Voting driver with a cable in his hands reports on the request to take in tow. If there is the hands a canister or a bucket, then the motorist needs fuel or asks to take him to the nearest gas-station.

If there is a car with an open front left door on the roadside – perhaps the driver needs medical assistance.

For violation of these rules, no one will be held accountable, however, mutual assistance, attention and tact on the road not only raise the mood of road users, but also help to cope with the difficulties that arise.

What do you think?

3.4k Points

Leave a Reply

Strange Life And Even Stranger End Of Nikolai Gogol

The Best Waterfalls To Visit On The Balkans