There is a published rulebook for driving in Mexico City. For real. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen people selling it at intersections, but I don’t know how many people have actually read it, since it sometimes appears that there are no driving laws.
With so many cars, pedestrians, mini-buses, and taxis, and a rush hour that is said to last 18 hours, driving in Mexico City can be both dangerous and challenging. But with a little practice, you can learn how to drive in one of the largest cities in the world.
I’ve decided to develop my own driving rules. It’s probably more funny for those who have visited Mexico City. If you’ve never been here, come visit us!!!
Here are ten rules for surviving when driving in Mexico City.
- Stay home. It’s the only way to avoid traffic problems. Or, if you absolutely have to, you could go out at 3 in the morning. There shouldn’t be much traffic then.
- Watch out for the speed bump. There will be one. Usually, it will come when you don’t expect it.
- People will pull out in front of you. If you know this is going to happen, you will be a lot more calm when it happens. If there is a bus letting people off, you should just assume that it will pull back into traffic in front of you. Also, if there is a parked car on the side of the road, be sure it will start rolling right when you are going to pass it.
- Look out for others because they probably aren’t looking out for you. You’ve heard of defensive driving. I’m telling you to think for the other person. You must do this to survive.
- Forget everything you’ve ever learned about using your blinkers. A left blinker doesn’t always mean that the car is turning left, but it sometimes does mean that the car is turning left. Sometimes, the car with the left blinker on could be turning right.
- If a bus is near you, get out of the way. The guy driving may try to run you off the road.
- Your arm can be a magic wand to let you into a continuous stream of traffic. Or, if you have a passenger, they can stick their arm out and almost everyone will let you into the line of traffic.
- If a sign is pointing you in a direction, it means turn…now. Actually, if you read the sign, it is probably too late to turn.
- Don’t get in the lane to turn right until the absolute last minute. A taxi or bus will probably pull in front of you and stop, making you stuck behind them for a few minutes.
- If the traffic is flowing, be cautious, it is only a matter of minutes before you catch up to the line of cars that are stopped (with their flashers on, warning you they are stopped).
Here’s a video of the traffic, and here are some pictures (below) of the traffic.