Veracruz highway with red pickup truck

Tips and Tricks for Driving in Mexico

Honestly, driving in Mexico is much safer than you think. I've driven on and off-road since '68 (19, not 18). I speak from experience. Many who say it's not safe have never driven or had a bad experience. I've driven in Los Angeles and Houston and had bad experiences, but don't warn you not to drive in L.A. or Houston (may God rest your soul if you have to).

Can You Turn Right on Red?

Can you turn right on a red light? After years of asking beat cops, the best answer I have for you is, "Probably."

Every cop has said, "Yes in my town, but I don't know about other towns."

The Highway Patrol won't take a stand.

I turn right on red. Or follow the local customs. Seems to work for me.

With "Mexico" Mike as our partner, we felt safe & enjoyed our trip. He delivered more than promised.

San Miguel de Allende Cathedral
Dancers at Eyipantla Flass, Veracruz

Zen of City Driving

Go With the Flow

The far left lane is for getting through without stopping. RV's generally should stay one lane over but never in the far right lane, regardless of your political persuasion. Work your way over to your exit long before you would in the States. Mexican highway signs will either give you way too much warning (Exit is 3 light years ahead) or none (If you're reading this, you just missed your exit, my sad friend.)

Motorcyclists face a few additional challenges to safely driving their bikes in Mexico. While you may already do this in the USA or Canada, be extra cautious if it starts to rain on a Mexican highway. There seems to be an extra layer of oil or diesel slick on the roads. The first ten minutes

Short version - Don't. It is stupid. Don't drive at night on the two-lane roads. There is a lot of loose livestock and I have yet to see a cow equipped with tail lights. My tip for driving at night is - DON'T. On the toll roads (which are as good as or even better than those in the U.S. or Canada), I have relaxed my stance on night driving. So, if you are sticking to the toll roads, I suppose you could drive an hour or so after dark. However, although driving in Mexico is generally safe, remember that bad people like to move under cover of darkness in any country. Also the Green Angels are home in bed, so there is no help except for a kind passer-by. I have found folks to be a lot kinder in daylight hours. So, if you want to be an idiot and drive all day and night, go ahead. Just don't ask me if it is alright. It is not. It is loco.
Short version - Don't. It is stupid. Don't drive at night on the two-lane roads. There is a lot of loose livestock and I have yet to see a cow equipped with tail lights. My tip for driving at night is - DON'T. On the toll roads (which are as good as or even better than those in the U.S. or Canada), I have relaxed my stance on night driving. So, if you are sticking to the toll roads, I suppose you could drive an hour or so after dark. However, although driving in Mexico is generally safe, remember that bad people like to move under cover of darkness in any country. Also the Green Angels are home in bed, so there is no help except for a kind passer-by. I have found folks to be a lot kinder in daylight hours. So, if you want to be an idiot and drive all day and night, go ahead. Just don't ask me if it is alright. It is not. It is loco.
This does not apply on toll roads, where international rules of the road pretty much apply. On the open road (meaning libre two-lane highways), a left turn signal is an invitation to the guy behind you to pass. Trucks and buses frequently turn their left blinker on to guide you around them. I trust them, but use common sense. Sometimes they have optimistic views of your acceleration capabilities. Don't use your left turn signal on a two lane road when you are about to pass. You might get hit. My advice -- use your signals as you are used to on toll roads and in cities, but don't expect the other guy to do the same.
Right on red is usually OK, unless there is a sign saying that it is not. I have been told by many local people that it is legal. I have asked cops across the country and they have all said, "Yes, in my town. But every town is different." I have been honked at by locals when I wait for a green light. Today I turn unless I see a cop, in which case I freeze. But that is just me. Maybe you did not live such a sordid past.