Driving in Mexico – PLEASE PAY ATTENTION
Driving is a challenge
When you get into Mexico and you decide you want to drive, be very careful. They drive a little different down here and you really need to pay attention.
I have a few tips that will save you from getting mad, or going insane, or crashing.
I have this thing I call “make a lane”. That’s when you are driving along and traffic is starting to back up and the cars behind you will take to the right side of the road and the left side of the road even though they are not lanes. You will suddenly be driving in a four-lane road that just minutes ago was a two-lane highway. Sometimes the new lane is just parking lots on the side of the road, but they become the road. It’s best not to freak out its just the way things go down here. Another thing to get used to is what I call “Zip in” it happens when you leave at least 7 or 8 feet between the car in front of you empty someone will zip in the space really quick with no blinker and no room for you to do anything except brake real fast and back off. Don’t get mad it’s just kind of normal. Do not try to block the lane from people going by, like I see happen in California sometimes, as you just might just get into and accident and it will probably be your fault. Just chill you will get to your destination as you always do. The Mexican people hardly ever get mad while driving in Mexico they just drive and get to where they are going. Honking is for gringos, every time I hear a car honking, I look and its usually a gringo.
DON’T BE A GRINGO!
You know when you pull into a parking lot and the spaces are mostly taken and you come up on a car that has pulled in all crooked and taken two spaces. Let it go. move on its not your problem. do not leave a note or stomp around all pissed off just go find another space. I have no idea what the people are thinking, but it’s just another thing we in America find weird, but down here we just get over it.
Another crazy thing is when you are driving on a two-lane highway with a double yellow line it doesn’t mean don’t pass. Oncoming traffic will sometimes ride the middle of the double yellow line while they are right beside other cars coming the other direction until they get an opening to pass the car in front of them jumping into your lane and back into theirs hopefully not crashing into you or anyone else.
If you are going up a hill, or going around a big corner don’t think the bus or big truck, or a few cars behind you are not going to pass you on a double yellow line road as they will if they think they can make it. It has happened to me many times and it totally freaks me out thinking someone is going to be coming over the hill or around the corner. Try to relax and pay close attention and slow down a bit in case they have to come back into your lane.
Something else you will want to review over and over is the letterals which is turning right to turn left. Yup pull over to the right to make the left-hand turn. Most Gringos stay in the lane without moving over to the right with their left-hand blinker on to turn left which is the signal in Mexico for people behind you to go ahead and pass you. Which turns out to be a big fat crash for you by turning left and the guy passing you. YOUR FAULT!
Something else you should know before you get into a car in Mexico is when you come to an intersection with signal lights DO NOT GO IMMEDIATELY WHEN IT TURNS GREEN. Wait and look BOTH WAYS before you enter the intersection, because there is usually a car or two or three that will keep going through the red light. Just relax and be calm and your turn will be soon.
Make sure if you are staying in Mexico for 6 months or more to get a drivers license. There is a chapter in my new book that explains all about it.