Travel recommendations to stay safe while you drive on Mexico’s roads
All my life, I ‘ve lived in Mexico. After 25 years of traveling throughout the Mexican territory, I’ve treasured some experiences that now you can take advantage of when you go to the north, to the south, to the beaches, to all of Mexico, and keep yourself safe without taking any unnecessary risks.
Sometimes certain regions of the Mexican Republic become a little more complicated for visits due to social or security conflicts; however, the vast majority of destinations with relevant tourism attractions for both local and foreigners remain safe for tours while maintaining prudent behaviors.
I repeat it again. Prudent behaviors. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a great time. Some places require an increased level of attention while others not.
It doesn’t hurt you to avoid carrying out specific actions or stop observing some necessary security conducts, which, although they seem obvious, you shouldn’t overlook them at all.
Many people would say: Hey! Wherever I travel to the world, those security indications are always the same. Yes, you have a point. However, some local customs, traditions, and social practices conjugate themselves into a potentially explosive cocktail. I certainly recommend you not to assume that you always know everything.
It has happened to me before. The beach, the sea, the warm weather, the delicious food, the visual attractions (of all kinds and forms, well what do I do, I’m sorry), can play you a moment of distraction.
Maybe you already know some of them or have even experienced them before, others perhaps not. Here I go. It’s worth tying a ribbon to the finger.
1.- AGUAS! (Sudden expression in Mexico which means pay attention or be careful) when withdrawing money from ATMs.
Yes, as a local individual and tourist that I am, I ‘ve seen it in certain cities, especially in the larger ones. Withdrawing large amounts of cash directly from the bank’s cashier or from an isolated ATM outside the limits of a bank’s facilities can be more dangerous than withdrawing it from the ATM located at the bank’s own premises.
Why? Because in addition to be relatively safer concerning personal safety, if you withdraw the money when the bank is on service business hours, a solution will come faster.
So, the Magno piece of advice here is:
- Preferably withdraw from ATMs that are inside banks facilities or shopping centers and not from those ones located on sidewalks, in gasoline service stations or exposed to the free transit of people, like those who you may have seen located, for example, on the sidewalks on the “Boulevard Kukulcán” in the paradisiacal Cancun vacation resort.
My safety tip here is, don’t you play to be the brave one; don’t accept external help from unknown persons.
Another useful tip. Take a look at the front structure of the ATM so you can check the front side forms part of the whole body of the ATM, and not an overlay, that is, without showing any signs that somebody performed some “repairs” on it or that they added “things” that don’t obviously belong to the body of an ATM.
2.- Arriving at some cities by plane is better than arriving by ground transportation.
Sometimes this phenomenon concerning safety in state highways is intermittent, that is, it sometimes occurs eventually, then it stops for a while, and finally after a few months later, it disappears. In other regions, fortunately, the fewest ones, it’s kind of a permanent situation.
Traveling by roads in Mexico is a journey of discovery in which you can experience traveling through different types of ecosystems that you can witness depending on the weather you drive, in the region that you do it like for example, in the north, in central Mexico’s states, in the shores or the south. That is the perfect opportunity to admire typical villages or cities.
So, some highways may lead to specific cities where it’s better to arrive by plane. Some of these challenging roads include those that lead to Mexico’s northern border to the US and others that lead to a few of Mexico’s western regions.
The Magno piece of advice? There’s a useful number you can dial here in Mexico when you are in need while on a highway. That number is the “078” (you can dial this number from any phone, whether it be a landline or a mobile one) for the “Angeles Verdes” (Green Angels).
This service specializes in assistance to travelers on Mexican highways. You also have another resource, and that is the number “074” of the “Caminos y Puentes Federales” (Capufe) to get general information about highways conditions, fares, and some other useful information.
Finally, don’t forget the famous “911” the number to report emergencies, which now is a national option in Mexico to report all kinds of police, health or accidents, and fire emergencies nationwide.
However, most of the safety issues that occur on Mexico’s highways aren’t directed primarily at tourists just by their appearance.
The felonies reported by some visitors have to do with the failure to observe points of basic personal safety like performing notorious or sudden aggressive and unnecessary actions under a risk situation or someones like excessively showing off high-value items.
We usually say in Mexico that concerning this matter or any other one, you must watch for this here (I mean Mexico) and in “China.” It’s an ordinary saying that here, there and everywhere, you must be “awake.”
3.- The good “Samaritan” can fall into an evil trap.
I get it. You’re driving on the road, and you see a car broken down pulled over. So, since you are good people (I suppose), the idea of assisting the unfortunate traveler(s) who is experiencing issues with their car is natural.
Boom! As some video games show Game Over! It may be a trap. I don’t want to describe everything that can happen here in detail.
Do you want to help these people in disgrace? Perfect! Believe me, that’s more than welcome.
Dial the number “078” or “074” and my country fellows specialists in these safety matters will help them. Thank you so much. Point. That’s it.
The Magno recommendation here? Just to be a little smarter and follow the Magno recommendation, I mentioned here lines above. And please, continue to be good people. Thanks a lot.
Now, the last one. Take care once again. There’s another clever trap. It usually happens in cities or near auto shops. You are driving, and suddenly, a car or motorcyclist pairs next to you and points out with their finger down to one of your car’s tire, as if warning you there’s a puncture on it.
So, in relation to this happening, follow these safety tips. Don’t carry out any aggressive or violent action against these people; just kindly raise your thumb up thanking them, but don’t stop at all.
If you can call the emergency numbers described above with discretion and calm, much better. You can also park your car near a police station, or anywhere you see members of the “Guardia Nacional” (National Guard).
As simple as that. You don’t have to take James Bond’s actions to overcome this event.
So, my dear Magno readers, by observing some simple safety guidelines, you’ll be several steps ahead from the careless, innocent and bona fide tourists. I sincerely hope that your road trips in Mexico are more than enjoyable. Welcome, all of you. Happy traveling experiences.
Thanks for following me on my social media and here at francomagnomexico.com