A vacation to Mexico can be an adventure! The sights, sounds, smells, activities, beaches, food, culture, and people are marvelous. But driving in Mexico can be an adventure unto itself. Before you hit the Mexican roadways, here are five things you should know before you get behind the wheel.
1. Road signs—Brush up on your Spanish. Many of the road signs have the same shape and color as we have here in the states, but there will be different words. Here are just a few of the most important ones.
- Alto means stop
- Ceda el paso means yield
- Cruce de peatones is a pedestrian crossing
- Despacio means slow
- No estacionar means no parking
- No rebase means no passing
2. The metric system—Speed limits are in kilometers, so pay attention to the other lines on your speedometer.
3. Traffic lights—The stop lights are horizontal rather than vertical.
4. Traffic laws—Lane lines and traffic signals are often treated as suggestions rather than hard and fast rules by the locals, which can create some white-knuckle situations.
5. Auto insurance—An accident could land you in a local holding cell until they can prove you have the ability to pay for the damages you have caused. Consider buying a Mexican auto insurance policy. Insurance is important in Mexico, and your US policy won’t cover you south of the border.
Our suggestion: drive defensively and make sure you have the proper auto insurance coverage. Keep the local police station off your list of sites to see!