Safe Travel Tips
Driving in Mexico
Members learn from other members and by reminders from Club Management the keys to staying safe on Mexican roads –
- Travel with another vehicle in order to have assistance in case of a flat tire or mechanical breakdown. This way you will have someone who can find a tow truck or roadside assistance if necessary.
- Driving at safe speeds, mostly under 50 miles per hour; keeping a sharp eye for any hazards
- Not driving at night when trucks and buses drive and the black cows in open range are likely to be on the highway
- On the narrow, two-lane road with no shoulders, slow down to where you are comfortable when oncoming traffic comes toward you
- Try to gauge the time and distance to pass on a straight-away rather than a hill or curve with oncoming traffic
- Pass very carefully when passing vehicles going in the same direction.
- Drive with your lights on. It is easier to be seen in a passing situation.
- Fill up with Fuel when your gauge indicates half empty. Between El Rosario and Jesus Maria on Baja 1, the distance is about 150 miles and there are no gas stations in between.
- Carry collapsible red cones and a red flag. You can use a water ski red flag. It will save you in hazardous situations – including on US roads. Keep it where you can reach it in case you vehicle suddenly becomes disabled. If you become disabled, set your hazzard lights and get away from the vehicle. These days there seems to be more vehicles and people stalled by the side of the road being hit by traffic coming behind them.
- Making sure your vehicle is in tip-top condition is another important rule. Before leaving home have your local mechanic go over your vehicle and replace anything that looks worn – belts, hoses, headlights, etc. Members are good about sharing hazards and road conditions when traveling and these are in turn passed on to the entire membership.
- Don’t attract attention to yourself with flashy electronics, expensive jewelry and irreplaceable items. Remove extra credit cards, your social security card and any other unnecessary items from your wallet before you go to Mexico.
- Make several copies of all your important documents (passport, driver’s license, Mexican Auto Insurance, and car registration). Leave one set with family or friend and make sure they know your travel plans.
- It is a good idea to make copies of your credit cards that you take so you can easily call to cancel them if they are lost or stolen.
- Carrying extra passport photos is a good idea also. If your passport is lost or stolen, you will need a new passport photo in order to get a replacement. It can often be difficult to find a place that processes passport photos in another country.
- Call your U.S. cell phone provider to activate Mexican roaming and find out about packages for traveling in Mexico.
- Call your bank for your debit card and credit cards to let them know you will be traveling in Mexico. Ask if they have locations or sister banks in Baja where you can withdraw money from an ATM without a fee.
- Do your driving during daylight hours.
- Don’t drink and drive. It is illegal to drink on the streets or in your car in Mexico.
- Do not do or take drugs to Mexico. You will go to jail.
- Guns are illegal in Mexico. You will go to jail for having one.
- As a general rule, anything illegal in the U.S. is illegal in Mexico.
- Do not drink the water unless you are at a large resort, hotel or restaurant in the major cities. If you are outside of a major city, ask for bottled water.
- Register with your country’s consulate before you go. U.S. citizens should register with the Department of State