Pretty much everyone who vacations has heard horror stories about someone’s experience of driving abroad, and Mexico is no different. As such, so many tourists come with a negative view of driving in Cancun before they have ever tried it. Nevertheless, while most of the stories you hear are often wildly exaggerated, it you are wise to be cautious when driving in Cancun or any city that is new to you. So long as you are smart, careful, and stick to the road regulations the experience can be very pleasant for visitors. In fact, it can add to your overall vacation experience due to the freedom it offers. The road between Cancun and Tulum, for example, is in good condition due to a recent highway expansion.
So why not look at our tips, and then hit the road for a (relatively) smooth ride?
Watch out for hazards
In and around towns you will find topes (which are speed bumps of varying sizes). Topes can be hard to spot, as they are usually badly signposted, and very damaging to your car if you hit them at full speed. They’re not so common on the main highways, but then there are usually potholes to look out for; some of them can be quite big. If you do hit one of these bad boys at speed and break down you should keep an eye out for the Green Angels; these men and women are dispatched by the department of tourism, and they can be really helpful.
Keep Your Speed Down
It is best to drive slower than you might on a road you know well, while keeping up with the majority of the traffick. Avoid going too slow, though, as this can be equally as dangerous. Keeping to the speed limit will also keep you on the good side of the traffic police, known as Transito, who patrol the roads frequently.
Pass With Extreme Care
There are typically no hard shoulders on Mexican highways, only ditches, and so you have to be sure of your space before you try to pass another car. If you misjudge your opportunity it’s not unknown for other drivers to make it hard for you to get back into your lane. It might be best to just avoid overtaking if you can, unless you have a clear run.
Avoid Driving at Night
Most fatal accident in this area occur at night due to a number of factors which include drunk drivers and pedestrians, potholes, animals in the road, no reflective lines on the highway, and cars driving without lights. Plan ahead to reach all destinations before night.
Sundays Deserve Extra Vigilance
Sunday is the most common day off in Mexico, so be extra cautious when driving on Sunday night and Monday mornings. It’s not uncommon for drunk driving to spike on Sunday nights, and on payday (the 15th and 30th of each month), so just be that little bit more cautious.
Make Smart Choices
If you wouldn’t do it in your country, don’t do it here; there’s no need to take a vacation from common sense as well as your everyday life when you come to Mexico. For example, drunk driving, using mobile phones while driving, not using seatbelts and passing through red lights are all offenses in Mexico.
If you follow these tips there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a perfectly great experience when driving in Cancun and exploring the areas that surround the city.