Safe Driving in Mexico – important safety tip

Is Your Favorite RV Magazine Serving You?

The following is a post by William Kaliher, someone I have been following for the past few years.  He’s an expert on Mexico and has written hundreds or maybe thousands of stories about Mexico and although he has submitted many pieces to RV Magazines has not been successful.  It’s too bad because he has the knowledge to share.  However, it’s to our benefit that he has sent me a post about driving safely in Mexico and his tips are things I know but forgot all about.  Thanks Bill

Carol Ann


Safe Driving In Mexico

Are RV magazines serving you or do blogs like RoamingRV, deliver more pertinent information? Large and small issues, concerns and discoveries can reach the RV consumer almost immediately via a blog. Safety issues don’t have to go through levels of corporate editorial decisions before being published. A few years ago, I tried to sell an article containing what I considered the most important tip for drivers, to know when traveling in Mexico.

I submitted the work to the largest RV magazines. The article could fit each magazines needs as they all occasionally covered Mexico. If the article didn’t fit, the manuscript contained one fact that should cause the editors to request a rewrite. Surely, these editors knew the needs of their readership and were concerned over safety issues.

They fooled me. Not a single magazine bought the work or requested a rewrite. Either they didn’t read it or were too far removed from RVing to recognize the safety factor. Mexconnect web magazine grabbed the article: . They titled the piece, Wild Bill Discovers Mexico’s Costa Esmeralda—the Emerald Coast of Veracruz, and published in 2010.
I had my paycheck and should have been satisfied, but the failure to sell this particular article to an RV magazine nagged at me. While looking at some RV blogs, I realized I needed to alert one of them to what trusted RV magazines weren’t delivering. The readers of Mexconnect web magazine were made aware of this important driving tip, but how many drove RVs? Before I explain the safety information the reader may want to glance at the original article to see if you pick up this driving tip. Most will understand the importance and why it’s worthwhile to provide the insight to RV’s.

I first entered Mexico in 1963. In 1971 I rode a motorcycle to Yucatan when conditions were considered primitive and third world. I’ve written for the Mexican Ministry of Tourism. Most people think I know the country. I give advice about traveling or retiring in Mexico. Yet, when I interviewed seventy-six-year-old Wild Bill for an article about a retiree and RV owner in Mexico, he mentioned a driving tip that bowled me over. I knew the rule, the information was so deeply ingrained in my soul, I took it for granted and never provided that information to anyone else. The information was so important for drivers in Mexico I knew the fact had to reach drivers and especially RV’ers.

In Mexico, a left turn signal does not mean a vehicle is turning left.

The indicator signals following cars and trucks it’s safe to pass, there is no on-coming traffic. A newcomer to Mexico runs a great risk turning left as we would in the U.S.A. or Canada. At worst you could be killed by an auto legally passing and running into you and, at the least, risk being responsible for a bad accident. The reason for this different usage of turn signals is, twenty-five plus years ago most paved Mexican roads were narrow ribbons twisting through mountains. Heavily laden trucks climbing at five miles per hour made their use of the left turn signal a necessity. Even today the legal way to turn left is to pull to the right as far as possible. When all traffic has passed, you can make the left turn.

Today, with super-highways or cuotas, toll roads and in some cities our use of the left turn signal is employed. However, the Canadian and American must be aware not all Mexicans will follow our custom, and visitors can encounter what we consider bizarre turns in heavy city traffic. Our job as drivers is to be super aware for even in modern style traffic lanes the Mexican left turn signal remains the legal signal to pass.

William B. Kaliher, (Bill) has sold hundreds of magazine articles and authored Mexico by Motorcycle: An Adventure Story and Guide  


Really important safety information for anyone driving in Mexico – thanks Bill for a really important reminder.

Carol Ann

2 thoughts on “Safe Driving in Mexico – important safety tip”

  1. We were pulled over in Morelia while driving our motorhome and tow car. We were berated for driving in the left lane when we should have known that vehicles with dual wheels are restricted to the far right lane. I tried to explain that we were trying to turn left but he would not listen, we had committed a terrible offence. After a small monetary exchange (200 pesos, the only bribe I have ever paid) he became our best friend, escorting us to the intersection with flashing lights, dismounting his motorcycle and stopping traffic while we made our left turn from the far right lane.

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