Driving on Maui

Driving on Maui:

Maui has some of the most scenic island highways in the world.

But driving on Maui requires awareness of the special road conditions on this semi-tropical island that may not exist back on the roadways near your own home.

Knowing about these special dangers can help you avoid a highway accident that could mar your vacation on Maui:

Highway accidents are an increased risk on Maui for several reasons:

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FEW HIGHWAYS:

Maui has very few highways, usually with just one road to get to any destination. As a result, these few highways are crowded with traffic most of the time.

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TWO LANE HIGHWAYS:

Most highways on Maui are two lane and therefore dangerous.

There are very few safer four lane highways on Maui.

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ONE LANE HIGHWAYS:

A few older roads on Maui are one lane.

Some highways on Maui have stretches of that narrow down to one lane. The famous road to Hana narrows down to one lane in numerous spots where it crosses old one lane bridges, having approaches marked with stops to wait for oncoming traffic to clear each one lane bridge.

The alternate Hana road around the dry southern side which some people take returning from Hana has several one lane stretches cut into cliffs above the ocean, and is not recommended for tourists for that reason.

Another road north of Kapalua Resort to Kahului also has several long one lane stretches cut into cliffs near the hamlet of Kahakuloa, and is not recommended for tourists for that reason.

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CURVING ROADS:

Curves are numerous and dangerous on Maui highways where they wind around cliffs above the ocean.

The road to Hana has 600 curves, which make driving there dangerous.

The highway to Lahaina has many curves in one section around the Pali (meaning cliffs).

The road to the top of Haleakala has many curves in the section that ascends the mountain toward the National Park at the summit.

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CLIFFS

Cliffs are a danger on Maui wherever roadways have been cut into the sides of the mountains high above the ocean, and require caution while driving along the edge of a cliff.

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TOURIST DRIVERS:

Maui highways are filled tourist drivers who are unfamiliar with these roads, and many drive with one eye on the scenery, often at slower speeds, stopping unpredictably to look at whales or pull off near beaches.

This can cause problems, especially when other drivers are locals who just want to get where they’re going at normal speeds.

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On the bright side, there are so few highways on Maui that it’s hard to get lost.

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