This article is from the October 1995 The Mexico File
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Is It Safe To Drive?
Yes, but you have to really pay attention Always assume that around the next curve stands a cow. And never, ever drive at night. Non-existent tail lights (or headlights) animals, bad drivers, are good reasons to park it at sundown. If you're in a wreck, everyone goes to the police station until fault and liabilty are determined.
Keep your eyes on the road and your reflexes sharp.. to paraphrase Bette Davis, "Driving in Mexico ain't for sissies." If you are not paying attention and momentarily leave the asphalt, you're gone. It can happen that fast. SO BE CAPEFUL! When a car wants to pass you, help him out with hand signals.
There are many one-way streets in PV. Most Mexican towns were laid out to accomodate horses, not cars. They tend to be narrow. The building at the end of each block will have an arrow painted on it to signify the direction of traffic if it is one-way.
Gas is bought at PEMEX stations. Make sure the pump is starting at zero on the peso meter and either ask for a certain amount in pesos or tell them "Lleno," meaning full. I always leave a modest tip, but it isn't really expected. Do tip the kids who wash your windows and whomever checks your oil and water.
When driving, don't be aggressive, but do hold your own. Above all, do whatever it takes to stay safe and avoid collisions. I have driven thousands of miles through-out Mexico without incident. Yes, even in Mexico City (you think Rome is brutal?). Whew!