Road Conditions and Safety:
- Bangladeshis drive on the left, the opposite of U.S. driving patterns.
- Roads are extremely crowded, are poorly maintained, often lack shoulders, have sharp drop-offs, and have barriers that are not sign-posted. Roadways often contain a mix of human and vehicular traffic, occasionally traveling against the flow of traffic.
- Drivers are often unlicensed, aggressive, and poorly trained. Many vehicles, particularly large trucks and buses, are poorly maintained. Larger vehicles generally take the right-of-way.
- Speed limits and other traffic laws are not commonly posted and are rarely observed by motorists. Vehicles often run red lights and merge directly into traffic without stopping.
- Drivers use car horns or flash their high-beam headlights to announce their presence in all areas of Bangladesh day or night.
Road accidents, including fatal head-on collisions, are common in Bangladesh. When traveling by road:
- Exercise extreme caution when crossing streets, even in areas frequented by pedestrians.
- Use seatbelts if available and wear helmets on motorcycles and bicycles.
- Do not travel by road without an experienced local driver or guide.
- Exercise particular vigilance along intercity highways, as banditry and carjacking have been known to occur.
- Monitor local news for any reports of road disturbances, as protestors and demonstrators often use road blockage as a means of publicizing their grievances.
If a serious accident occurs, or if a driver hits a pedestrian or livestock, crowds quickly gather, and the behavior of the crowd is often unpredictable. The vehicle and its occupants may be at risk of being attacked in such circumstances depending on who the crowd believes is at fault and what damage has occurred. Such attacks may pose significant risk of injury or death to the vehicle?s occupants or of damage to the vehicle. It is unsafe to remain at the scene of an accident of this nature. Seek shelter at the nearest police station.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. We also suggest that you visit Bangladesh?s National Tourism Organization website.
- The U.S. Embassy prohibits U.S. government officials and their family members from using buses, trains, motorcycles, rickshaws, and compressed natural gas autorickshaws (CNGs) due to high accident rates and crime issues.
- The Bangladeshi passenger rail system is antiquated and overburdened. Some political activists target rail lines during civil unrest by hurling explosives and removing rail ties from the tracks, making trips unusually dangerous and frequently causing cancellations. Even in peaceful times, foreigners are often the center of attention at many train stations because of the relatively atypical presence of foreign travelers on rail in the country.
Aviation Safety Oversight:
Current aviation safety and security protocols for Bangladeshi airports are not equivalent to those of the United States.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) current determination is that the Government of Bangladesh?s Civil Aviation Authority does not provide safety oversight of its air carrier operators in accordance with the minimum safety oversight standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.
U.S. Department of Defense personnel are prohibited from using Biman Airlines.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Bangladesh should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the NGA broadcast warnings website (select ?broadcast warnings?.)