Speeding, tailgating, passing on blind curves – it’s all in a day’s drive in Central America. Take it from me – I spent six months driving from one end of the region to the other. My advice? Forget everything you learned in driver’s ed. Down there, the law of the jungle applies. It’s every man for himself.
Here’s what you need to watch out for in the land of loco drivers:
· Passing. Hills, curves, intersections – every stretch of road seems to represent an opportunity to pass. Be wary.
· Speeding. Posted limits are somebody’s idea of a joke. No one’s monitoring the roads with a radar gun, and drivers know it.
· Junkers. If you’ve ever wondered where old Datsuns go to die, wonder no more. Few vehicles here are roadworthy. Their frames are bent, they’re missing bumpers and spewing black exhaust. And those are the ones that work.
· Sleeping policemen. Not the human kind. That’s what some locals call speed bumps. They appear in the middle of highways with little warning and can ruin your rims faster than a tourist can down a tequila shot.
· Motorbikes. They dart in and out of traffic with no regard for vehicles changing lanes or people opening doors. Check your mirrors. Always.
· Obstacles. Cattle, dogs, small children, falling rocks – you never know what’s going to pop out of nowhere.
Your local rush hour traffic jam doesn’t seem so bad anymore, does it?
Where’s the worst place you’ve driven while travelling?