What Side Does Mexico Drive On?
When traveling to a new country, it’s important to familiarize yourself with its traffic rules and regulations, including which side of the road you should be driving on. In the case of Mexico, this can be a little confusing for visitors from countries where driving is done on the opposite side. So, let’s clear up the confusion and answer the question: What side does Mexico drive on?
Driving Orientation in Mexico
In Mexico, like in the United States and Canada, vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road. This means that the driver’s seat is on the left side of the vehicle, and you should drive on the right side of the road. This driving orientation is known as right-hand traffic.
To understand why Mexico drives on the right side of the road, we need to delve into its historical context. Prior to the Spanish colonization, indigenous civilizations such as the Aztecs and Mayans did not have wheeled vehicles, so the concept of driving on a particular side did not exist.
When the Spanish arrived in Mexico in the 16th century, they brought with them their driving customs from Europe, where they drove on the right-hand side. This tradition continued even after Mexico gained independence from Spain in the early 19th century.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I drive in Mexico with my foreign driver’s license?
A: Yes, foreign visitors can drive in Mexico with a valid driver’s license from their home country. However, it’s recommended to carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with your license, as it provides a translation of your license into multiple languages and can be helpful in case of any language barriers or if authorities request it.
Q: Are there any specific traffic rules in Mexico that I should be aware of?
A: Yes, there are a few specific traffic rules in Mexico that visitors should be aware of. One important rule is that drivers and passengers are required by law to wear seat belts at all times. Additionally, the use of cell phones while driving is strictly prohibited, unless you have a hands-free device. It’s also worth noting that speed limits are generally posted in kilometers per hour (km/h) in Mexico.
Q: Can I rent a car in Mexico as a foreign visitor?
A: Yes, it is possible to rent a car in Mexico as a foreign visitor. Many major car rental companies have offices in popular tourist destinations, airports, and cities throughout the country. However, it’s important to check the specific requirements and policies of the rental company you choose, as they may have certain restrictions or additional fees for foreign drivers.
Q: Are there toll roads in Mexico?
A: Yes, Mexico has an extensive network of toll roads known as “cuotas.” These toll roads are usually in good condition and provide quicker and more direct routes between cities. However, they require payment of a toll fee, which can vary depending on the distance traveled.
Q: Are there any specific road signs or markings that I should be aware of in Mexico?
A: Yes, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the road signs and markings in Mexico. The most commonly used signs are similar to international standards, but it’s always a good idea to study them beforehand. Additionally, be cautious of topes (speed bumps) and vados (road dips) that are often found on Mexican roads, particularly in rural areas.
In Mexico, vehicles are driven on the right-hand side of the road, as in many other countries in the Americas. This driving orientation has historical roots dating back to the Spanish colonization. Remember to adhere to the specific traffic rules in Mexico, wear seat belts, and avoid using cell phones while driving. Whether you’re a foreign visitor or a local, understanding the rules of the road is essential for a safe and enjoyable driving experience in Mexico.