You should be aware when driving in Mexico, especially in a foreign vehicle, of the danger of bandits. Robberies and even more serious assaults on motorists do occur, above all in the northwest and especially in the state of Sinaloa. Robbers may try to make you stop by indicating that there is something wrong with your vehicle; they’ve also been known to pose as policemen, hitchhikers and motorists in distress, so think twice about offering a lift or a helping hand. On the other hand, there are plenty of legitimate police checkpoints along the main roads, where you must stop, and increased security (to combat the drug cartels) has very much reduced hold-ups of buses. Robbers mainly target cargo trucks rather than private cars, but it is nonetheless best to avoid driving at night, particularly in the north of the country, but also in Michoacán and Guerrero, on Hwy-200 along the Pacific coast from Jalisco to Oaxaca, and on Hwy-57 (Mexico City–San Luis Potosí–Matahuela). It’s always safer to use a toll (cuota) highway than a free one. The US State Department currently advises its citizens to avoid travelling at night on highways anywhere in the country.

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