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Mexico – Driving

Mexico is a large and diverse country with a rich culture and beautiful scenery. Driving in Mexico can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it is important to be aware of the local driving rules and regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. In this article, we will discuss road safety, legal requirements, driving rules, road signs, traffic lights, parking rules, and where to find up-to-date road traffic information in Mexico.

Road Safety in Mexico

Road safety is a major concern in Mexico, as the country has a high rate of road accidents compared to other countries in the region. Despite this, Mexico has made significant improvements in recent years to improve road safety, including the introduction of new road safety measures and campaigns to promote safe driving.

One of the main challenges when driving in Mexico is the quality of roads. While some roads are well-maintained, others can be in poor condition, with potholes, rough surfaces, and inadequate signage. This can make driving conditions challenging, particularly during heavy rain or at night.

Another factor that contributes to road accidents in Mexico is the local driving standards. While most Mexican drivers are courteous and responsible, there are some who flout the rules of the road, including speeding, reckless driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Additionally, many drivers in Mexico do not wear seatbelts or helmets, which can significantly increase the risk of serious injury or death in the event of an accident.

Legal Requirements

As with any country, there are certain legal requirements that must be met when driving in Mexico. These include carrying the correct equipment in your car and following the correct procedures in the event of a road accident.


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According to Mexican law, all cars must carry the following equipment:

  • A warning triangle
  • A first aid kit
  • A fire extinguisher
  • A spare tire and jack
  • Reflective vest or jacket

Road Accidents

In the event of a road accident in Mexico, it is important to follow the correct procedures to ensure your safety and the safety of others. The first step is to move your vehicle to a safe location, if possible, and turn on your hazard lights. If anyone is injured, call for medical assistance immediately.

Next, exchange details with the other party involved in the accident, including name, contact information, and insurance details. If the accident is serious, or if there is a dispute about who is at fault, it is recommended that you contact the police and wait for them to arrive at the scene.

Driving Rules

Like most countries, Mexico has a set of driving rules that must be followed in order to ensure safety on the roads. Here are some of the most important rules to be aware of:

Driving Side

In Mexico, cars drive on the right-hand side of the road, which may be different from what drivers are used to in other countries. This means that drivers should keep to the right-hand side of the road at all times, and overtake on the left.

Right of Way

When it comes to right of way, vehicles that are already on the main road have priority over those joining from a side road. Additionally, pedestrians always have the right of way, and drivers should give way to them at all times.

Speed Limits

Speed limits in Mexico vary depending on the type of road you are driving on. In general, the maximum speed limit on highways is 110 km/h, while in urban areas it is 50 km/h. It is important to always obey speed limits, as there are strict penalties for those who are caught speeding.

Other Rules

Other important driving rules to be aware of in Mexico include:

  • Use of seat belts and helmets: Drivers and passengers are required to wear seat belts at all times, and motorcyclists must wear helmets. Failure to do so can result in a fine.

    • Use of mobile phones: It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving, unless it is with a hands-free device. Violators can be fined.
    • Drinking and driving: The legal blood alcohol limit in Mexico is 0.08%. Anyone caught driving over this limit can face severe penalties, including fines, imprisonment, and suspension of their driving license.

    Road Signs and Traffic Lights

    Understanding road signs and traffic lights is essential for safe driving in Mexico. Here are some of the most important road signs to be aware of:

    • Alto sign: A red octagon with the word “ALTO” in white letters. This indicates that drivers must come to a complete stop before proceeding.
    • Limite de velocidad sign: A circular sign with a number in the middle, indicating the maximum speed limit for that particular road.
    • No estacionarse sign: A red circle with a white horizontal bar, indicating that parking is prohibited.
    • Ceda el paso sign: A yellow diamond with the words “CEDA EL PASO” in black letters. This indicates that drivers must give way to other vehicles and pedestrians.

    Traffic lights in Mexico follow the same color scheme as most countries, with red indicating stop, green indicating go, and yellow indicating caution. However, it is important to note that some traffic lights in Mexico have a flashing green light, which indicates that drivers should proceed with caution and give way to other vehicles and pedestrians.

    Road Traffic Information

    To stay up to date on road traffic information in Mexico, there are several websites and apps that can be used. These include:

    • Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes: This website provides updates on road closures, traffic congestion, and accidents across Mexico.
    • Waze: A mobile app that provides real-time traffic updates, as well as information on accidents and road closures.
    • C4 Jalisco: A Twitter account that provides regular updates on traffic conditions in the state of Jalisco.

    Parking Rules

    Parking in Mexico can be challenging, particularly in urban areas. Here are some important parking rules to be aware of:

    • No parking zones: In many areas, parking is prohibited in designated no parking zones. These zones are typically indicated by red curbs or signs.
    • Time limits: In some areas, there are time limits on parking, ranging from one to three hours. Drivers should be aware of these limits and ensure they move their vehicle before the time expires.
    • Paid parking: In many urban areas, paid parking is available in designated parking lots or garages. These areas typically have a fee per hour or per day.

    Driving in Mexico can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it is important to be aware of the local driving rules and regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. By following the legal requirements, driving rules, and road signs, as well as staying up to date on road traffic information, drivers can enjoy all that Mexico has to offer while staying safe on the roads.

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