Thursday, April 8, 2010

Driving in Mexico – Part Two

Don't drive at night in Mexico. When I mentioned this rule over supper last night, David couldn't understand the logic. Did that mean we'd never go out for dinner during our month in Ajijic?

I quickly assured him that we could drive locally at night, but traveling highways for long distances after the sun went down was certainly not advisable. There are three reasons for this.

A truck driver with a flat tire may have stopped on the road earlier in the day and conscientiously placed boulders behind him to direct cars to the other lane while he changed the tire. But when his car was road-worthy again, the chances are that he didn’t go back to move those rocks. During the day this is a minor problem, but at night it presents a major hazard.

Another reason is that most ranchers cannot afford to fence their land, so cows and horses routinely cross major (and minor) roads whenever they like. When the air cools down at night, cows, in particular, seek the heat-absorbing asphalt to stay warm. They love to lie down in the middle of the road and have yet to learn that this is a deadly practice.

The last reason for avoiding night driving is that some Mexican drivers believe they are preserving their car batteries by not turning on their lights at night. If the rocks or the cows in the middle of the road don’t get you, the car with no lights will!

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