11 Things That You Should Know About Driving In Puerto Rico

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Driving in Puerto Rico
11 things that you need to know about driving in Puerto Rico
Final word


Driving in Puerto Rico

Driving in Puerto Rico is definitely different than most places in the world. It can be confusing and frustrating if you are not used to it or at least prepared for it. Overall, other drivers in Puerto Rico can be very aggressive.

The other general thing that will stand out is that many of the typical laws such as stopping at stop signs are not enforced very much. Sometimes it might seem like they are not being enforced at all.

It is definitely not a typical driving experience in Puerto Rico. Our advice is to read this post carefully and prepare yourself as best you can so that you do not end up getting into an accident.

11 things that you need to know about driving in Puerto Rico

There are a seemingly endless amount of differences between driving in Puerto Rico and anywhere else. However, before you start driving there, focus on these eleven:

  • Speed limits tend to be suggestions – This is not THAT different from the United States, where you could routinely see some people driving above the posted speed limit. However, if they are seen by the police, they will get pulled over and ticketed. In Puerto Rico, the police routinely ignore this so people really tend to take advantage. People also drive way under the speed limit which I technically illegal but not really enforced. Watch out for both of these extremes when you are on the road in Puerto Rico.
  • The left lane is actually for slower traffic – In America, and many other places in the world, the left lane is the “fast lane” and is for passing only. Oddly, in Puerto Rico, things are reversed. The right lane is the “fast lane” and the left lane is the slowest lane. Be mindful of this when you are trying to merge onto a highway because it can be tricky.
  • People turning across multiple lanes of traffic – That is as bad as it sounds, people driving in the right-most lane of three lanes will turn left without getting over lane by lane or even signaling first and vice versa. The best way to avoid getting into an accident with one of these drivers or because of them is to keep a safe driving distance between you and the driver in front of you.
  • Unexplained stops – You seem this sometimes in the United States, albeit rarely, but people will routinely stop in the middle of the road for seemingly no reason. All you can do is drive around them.
  • Numerous potholes – Much like places like New York there is an abundance of Potholes in Puerto Rico. The difference is that these potholes seemingly NEVER get repaired, so they just get more and more numerous. Try to avoid hitting them if you can because doing so can significantly damage your vehicle but also be sure you do not get into an accident in trying to do so.
  • Police cars will always have their lights on – If you see a cop behind you with his lights on but no siren, do not worry, you are not getting pulled over. Police in Puerto Rico drive around with their lights constantly on. Their lights do not mean they are trying to get you to pull over. Just be sure to yield to them when you see them (in other words, get out of their way).
  • Signaling will seem like its optional – Drivers in Puerto Rico rarely use their turn signals, so be prepared for people to make unexpected turns frequently when you are driving. As we mentioned earlier, be sure you keep a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Animals appear on the road more often than other places – In Puerto Rico, there are abundance of animals that might wander onto the road such as dogs, cows, donkeys, and horses. It is just the way it is. If you drive slowly and cautiously, you can more easily avoid hitting one of these animals.
  • Highly aggressive driving – We mentioned this towards the beginning of the post, but it is worth reiterating, other drivers in Puerto Rico can drive very aggressively a large amount of the time. They will routinely cut you off and honk at you and other drivers. Just remain calm and drive safely yourself and this should not be an issue.
  • The shoulder is an active lane at times – In the United States, you will sometimes see people use the shoulder to drive up to an exit. In Puerto Rico, if there is considerable traffic, you will see other drivers using it as an active lane to travel multiple miles. Police sometimes enforce the “no driving on the shoulder” laws but other times they do not.
  • Speed bumps are seemingly placed randomly throughout Puerto Rico – Speed bumps are all over Puerto Rico, namely in the neighborhoods because speeding is such an issue due to the lack of enforcement by police. Keep it slow and you will not end up getting too surprised by these.


Final word

Driving in Puerto Rico can be confusing and difficult during much of the time. You can do your best to avoid any accidents by driving cautiously and defensively yourself. That will likely go a long way in terms of your own safety.

However, you should not let the driving conditions and behavior in Puerto Rico discourage you from visiting or moving there. Puerto Rico is a beautiful country full of wonderful people and sights.

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