NOTICE: first and foremost, we
strongly advise against driving yourself. It's not safe simply
conditions are hazardous, the highways are isolated and easy to get lost
on, and cell phones do not work after crossing the border (after about a
mile there are no towers). The shuttle is safer, more reliable, and
has many benefits....but mostly ~ it's just safer. Driving a US car
across the border does make you stand out, and a lost tourist or a US tag is a great
target for thieves.
BRING A FRIEND - if you drive yourself to the hospital, you 'must'
have someone with you to drive you home. You will not be allowed to
have surgery if you have not brought a guest with you and you are not
using the shuttle.
BORDER CROSSING: Do not try to cross the border at
night (after dark) or try to find the hospital in the dark. Stay on the US side of the border if you arrive late and are driving
yourself...and get up early and drive over the next morning. The border
opens at 6 am.
INSURANCE: Mexican law requires you to have Mexico insurance for
driving your personal vehicle or rental (and permission + insurance from your rental
agency if you rent). This is the law, and not doing so could result in
confiscation of your rental or personal car; mandatory jail time, and the rental company can make
you pay for the car in full if there is an accident or theft. Never try to
take a rental car across the border without a letter of written permission
from the rental company. Even if your
insurance company says they cover you into Mexico, this does NOT mean that
your insurance will be accepted in Mexico. US insurance is NOT always valid in
Mexico. Mexico insurance costs about $35 per day. If an accident
occurs, it is possible that you and your party will be taken directly to
jail until the police determine who is at fault. If you do not have
insurance or it does not cover accident damage, you will have to pay out
of your own pocket immediately for damages or stay in jail until you do
pay it. Please do all your research and make sure you have the
proper paperwork. You will find a lot of information and be able to
purchase your additional insurance here:
PERMISSION PAPERS: make sure you get a letter of consent from your
rental agency to take their car out of the country. Be sure it makes note
of the location you are going and the expected return date. You must also
do this for your personal car if there is a lien holder (you are still
making payments) on it. Call your company and get them to fax your papers
ACCIDENTS: The chances of being in a wreck are higher than normal,
driving in Mexico is aggressive. If you aren't familiar with it....an
accident could easily happen. Yes, we have had patients get into wrecks
before while driving themselves. Fortunately there have been no
serious accidents. See the insurance section above.
REGISTRATION: Make sure whoever's name is on
the registration of your personal vehicle....or the rental agreement of a
rental car.....is the same person who is DRIVING the vehicle at all times.
This means it should not be in the patient's name, because you are not
able to drive after surgery.
MAPS: Use the instructions, maps,
travel tips, etc on this page to download and print (for personal use
only) Please be aware that getting lost is almost a certainty. 98%
of patients who have attempted this in the daylight have gotten lost, 100%
of those who tried it after dark have gotten lost.
Be sure to take Dr. Levi and Marcos' cell numbers, just in case you need
them. Also, please know that once you pass the border crossing within the
first couple of miles your cell phones will lose service, even if you have
international service - there are no towers in the area
SPEED LIMIT: Do the speed limit. Remember, the
speed limits change to kilometers so adjust your speed accordingly.
STOP SIGNS: Alto means stop. but it does not
actually mean that everyone 'will' stop. Never cross an intersection (with
or without signs) without stopping first to check for oncoming traffic
unless you want to be in a fender bender!
OTHER: Beware of large potholes and fast
drivers once you get off the main highway. The townsfolk are extremely
wonderful but they do have different driving styles.