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Driving tips for Mexico travelers

Mexico Driving Tips Driving in Mexico is perfectly safe and enjoyable. It is no more difficult than driving in the U.S., though defensive driving is a requirement. Despite what you have heard, Mexicans are polite -- on the open road. In cities, a certain amount of aggression is required.

Accidents A relatively small number of tourists have serious accidents in Mexico. However, some precaution and awareness of the road will help ensure a safe trip when driving across the border.

Most Common Accidents 1. Driving at night 2. Rollovers due to no shoulders on roads 3. Unfamiliar with road conditions, driving signals 4. Driving Undefensively

Night Time Driving Avoid driving at night. Loose livestock as well as wild animals such as coyotes and deer are common place. Roads are often poorly lit and a lack of shoulders throughout Mexico make it a dangerous practice. Our tip for driving at night is - DON'T!

Left Turn Signals On the open road, a left turn signal is an invitation to the person behind you to pass. Trucks and busses frequently turn their left blinker on to guide you around them. They can usually be trusted, 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. A few readers have pointed out that on the toll roads, people use turn signals as they do here. Our advice -- use them as you are used to on toll roads, but don't expect the other drivers to do the same.

Left Turns Left turns are different! When there is a left turn lane, there will usually be a left turn arrow. Look for 4 lights on the signal. You MUST wait for the arrow.

Right Turns Right on red is usually not OK, unless there is a sign saying that it is (Derecha con Precaucion). If you are determined to turn, use your best judgement.

Mexico City's "No Driving Today" Law The "No Driving Today"(Hoy No Circula) program is designed to control the city's vehicular circulation and thus reduce pollutant emissions. This law only pertains to Mexico City. It restricts the circulation of diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicles according to the day of the week and the last digit on the vehicle's license plate and is in effect between 5 am and 10 pm Monday to Friday, for all Mexico City plated vehicles driving in the city. View the chart below. (If you have license plates from any other country, “foreign plates” or another state in Mexico, please see the new law below.) If your license plate ends with the number specified, you can not drive that vehicle on Fridays. (The colors refer to Mexico license plates.) For example, if your license plate ends with the number 5 (or is Yellow), you can not drive the vehicle on Mondays. On days when the pollution is too high, those described in "Sometimes" will also not be allowed on the roads.

5 & 6
7 & 8
3 & 4
1 & 2
9 & 0
7 & 8
9 & 0
1 & 2
3 & 4
5 & 6
1st Sat. of the Month
2nd Sat. of the Month

3rd Sat. of the Month

4th Sat. of the Month

5th Sat. of the Month (On months with 5 Sats.)

New Driving Restrictions in Mexico City for Foreign Plates - August 29, 2008 This information from the Mexican Government is provided as a courtesy to U.S. citizens driving in the Federal District of Mexico. Beginning September 1st, metropolitan Mexico City will be subject to new rules which are aimed at reducing pollution. The new rules can be summarized as follows:
  • Vehicles with foreign plates and plates from other states of Mexico that do not have “zero” or “double zero” holographic stickers are restricted from driving in the city from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. from Monday through Friday.
  • his new rule does not apply to those vehicles that have “zero” or “double zero” stickers obtained through the voluntary verification program at the various Verificentros (emissions testing centers) in D.F., EDOMEX, and/or stickers from those states that joined the agreement (Hidalgo, Morelos, Puebla and Queretaro). Furthermore, this rule does not apply to public transportation vehicles.
  • For further information regarding the new regulation, please contact the following numbers: (HOY NO CIRCULA) 01-800-831-4456 and (ECOTEL) 01-800-232-0835.