Driving in Mexico Safety Tips - RV, Cars, Motorcycles

How and why to drive your car, motorcycle or RV in Mexico safely

Driving your car, Motorcycle, RV or auto and trailer to Mexico? Here are driving tips and safety tips about driving in Mexico by someone who drives Mexico. 

Driving in Mexico is the best way to truly experience Mexico. Honestly, driving in Mexico is very safe. I've driven Mexico since '68 (19, not 18). Many of those who tell you it's not safe to drive your vehicle to Mexico have never driven or drove once and had a bad experience. I've driven in Los Angeles and had a bad experience, but don't warn you not to drive in L.A. (though praying helps).

Whether you drive a car, SUV, RV, motorcycle, you'll find driving to Mexico is still safe and recommended. If you write to ask me that question, I won't bother to answer as it means you did not read my site. I take a couple of long driving trips in Mexico every year, usually 3,000 to 5,000 miles in different parts of the country. I check my truck when I get back and have yet to find one single bullet-hole. Now and again, I end up going with a client that I feel good about.

Take a look at my cart for Mexico maps, travelogues and roadlogs) on my as well as my personalized trip-planning services to help you get the most out of a driving trip to Mexico. Mexico auto insurance is available here.

Before you set out on a road trip to Mexico, you probably need to buy some "stuff." I always do. So head on over to Amazon and get your automotive road trip needs filled.

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Motorcycle Safety Tips

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 are deadly. If you can pull over, do so. Better to wait under an overpass than slide under a semi.

If you are a beginning biker, this link to Best Motorbike Jackets has some valuable information for you. If you are a seasoned pro, you might find their products worth a peruse.

I don't know if motorcycle theft is really more common in Mexico, but that is the perception. Fortunately, some small hotels will let you park your bike in the lobby or at least inside somewhere!

You'll need Mexico auto insurance to cover your bike in Mexico. Your US or Canadian policy (with very few exceptions like USAA) is not valid in Mexico. My guys will treat you right.

There are active motorcycle clubs in most larger towns and they welcome foreigners. Search Facebook or when you get to a town, find a bike shop and ask how to get in touch with the local club.

If you are a motorcyclist, I can custom-make a scenic road trip for you that will make the journey a great memory. I will send you down some trails in the Copper Canyon or paved, but seriously challenging highways in the colonial parts of the country. Tell me your preference and I will make a trip for you. Just click the "Map Store" button on the menu above.

General Driving Safety Tips

I've gotten some of my best information about out-of-the-way hot springs and little-known hideaways because I was driving by asking Pemex attendants, waiters at highway restaurants and truck drivers. When you drive, you really see Mexico. These driving tips for Mexico will help you have a safe and enjoyable trip. Driving safely in Mexico is a matter of defensive driving (gringos shouldn't try to drive offensively). But, the biggest safety tip of all is to to take it easy. Allow some extra time and slow down.

Border crossing times for all gateways are at the US Customs border crossing web site. It's a cool driver's tool, but useful only to give you an idea of what times are busiest at what Mexican US border crossings.

RV Driving In Mexico

Thousands of RV's and trailers drive to Mexico every year. Thanks to the toll roads, driving your RV in Mexico is not much different than driving in the USA -- it just costs more. There is NO Ultra low sulfur diesel in MOST of Mexico. See more about diesel in Mexico here. There are plenty of RV parks in on the Pacific Coast of Mexico and in colonial Mexico. There aren't as many RV parks on the Gulf Coast of Mexico, or even in the Yucatan, although there are enough.

Night Driving

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 stupid.

Left Turn Signals

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.

Left Turns

When there is a left turn lane, there will usually be a left turn arrow. Look for 4 lights on signal. You MUST wait for arrow.

Right Turns

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 a few cops and they have 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.

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