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Driving in Mexico can be difficult. Be sure to follow these tips before you get on the road...

  1. Road Signs

  2. Speed Limits

  3. Passing Other Vehicles in Mexico


1. Road Signs in Mexico

Below is a table of simple road signs you will need to know when you drive to Mexico.

SPANISH ENGLISH
ALTO STOP
CAMIONES TRUCKS
CEDA EL PASO YIELD
CIRCULACIÓN ONE WAY
CONSERVA SU DERECHA KEEP RIGHT
CRUCE DE FERROCARRIL RAILROAD CROSSING
CRUCE DE PEATONES PEDESTRIAN CROSSING
CUIDADO BE CAREFUL
CURVA PELIGROSA DANGEROUS CURVE
DESPACIO SLOW
DOBLE CIRCULACIÓN TWO WAY
MANAJE CON PRECAUCIÓN DRIVE WITH CARE
NO ESTACIONAR NO PARKING
NO HAY PASO ROAD CLOSED
NO PASE DO NOT ENTER
NO REBASE NO PASSING
OBEDEZCA LAS SEÑALES OBEY TRAFFIC SIGNALS
PARADA DE AUTOBUSES BUS STOP
PELIGRO DANGER
PRECAUCIZÓN SLOW DOWN
PROHIBIDO EL PASO PASSING IS PROHIBITED
PROPIEDAD PRIVADA PRIVATE PROPERTY
REDUCIR VELOCIDAD REDUCE SPEED
RESPETE LOS LIMITES DE VELOCIDAD OBEY SPEED LIMITS
SOLO IZQ LEFT TURN ONLY
TOPES SPEED BUMPS
UNA VIA ONE WAY
ZONA ESCOLAR SCHOOL ZONE

2. Mexico Speed Limits

Speed limits are posted in Kilometers per hour, not miles per hour, so when you see that sign on the side of the road that says 90, it does not mean that you should drive 90 miles per hour. The posted speed limits in Mexico are generally a little slower than what you might be used to seeing on the US highways. Along the way, you may encounter some other drivers moving along at what seems to be an excruciatingly slow pace, and you'll have to try to carefully pass them. You also most likely will see some drivers exceeding the posted speed limits by a lot, and although you may be tempted, we would not recommend that you follow their example. You may want to keep your speed within the posted limits, so you'll spend more time vacationing, instead of talking to the Policia Federal (Federal Police). Most speedometers will have an additional row of numbers, besides the miles per hour increments, to indicate your vehicle's speed in kilometers per hour, but just in case, we have included a handy kilometers per hour to miles per hour conversion chart below:

KILOMETERS MILES
120 kph 75 mph
110 kph 68 mph
100 kph 62 mph
90 kph 56 mph
80 kph 50 mph
70 kph 44 mph
60 kph 37 mph
50 kph 31 mph
40 kph 25 mph
30 kph 19 mph
20 kph 12 mph

3. Passing Other Vehicles in Mexico

Be extremely careful when passing other vehicles in Mexico, because drivers there will sometimes use their turn signals a little differently than we are used to seeing in the US You may see a driver put on their right hand turn signal as they are pulling onto the right hand shoulder of the road, which normally would mean they are making a right turn. However, in Mexico, it is not uncommon for drivers to pull onto the shoulder, wait for an opening in traffic, and then make a sweeping left hand turn across all of the lanes.

Another Mexico turn signal anomaly that you may experience will be a slower driver pulling onto the right hand shoulder with their left hand turn signal on, which is their way of indicating that they are allowing faster vehicles behind them to pass. Bottom line, a left turn signal does not always mean that a left hand turn is about to be made, nor does a right turn signal always mean the driver is going to turn to the right, so it is best to always proceed with extra caution whenever passing any vehicles in Mexico.

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