A recent spate of high-profile road traffic collisions on the Trans Peninsular Highway, the main roadway from Los Cabos International Airport to the destination, has some questioning the safety of their transfer from plane to poolside.
The most recent collision sadly claimed the life of one person, but thankfully, no other injuries were reported.
With that in mind, the question that needs to be answered is, “Should travelers be concerned about the safety of their airport transfer?”
Likely, the most important thing to acknowledge before speaking on the general conditions of the roads, policing, and driver ability is the cold and hard statistics.
Mexico, as a nation, recorded in 2019 (the last global study by the WHO) a rate of 12.3 fatalities from road traffic collisions per 100,000 people.
The United States of America, in the same period, recorded 12.9 fatalities from road traffic collisions per 100,000 people.
In other words, the two nations post almost identical statistics when talking about road safety.
While the statistics of the two countries run pretty close, one thing travelers will notice when visiting Los Cabos is the infrastructure surrounding the destination can leave a lot to be desired.
Potholes are very common, and at times, the camber (slight tilts in corners to aid turning) can be placed in unusual ways.
On top of this, road signs and general driving laws are often flouted. This can make driving a rental in the state of Baja California Sur feel a little more adventurous than some travelers would prefer.
Overall, the highways in the state are kept in relatively good condition. The trans peninsular highway runs all the way from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas, and the stretch from the airport to both of the cities that make up Los Cabos is regarded as some of the best-maintained miles to travel on it.
Hazards To Beware Of
If travelers come across a member of the unofficial club of Americans who take joy in driving the whole length of the highway by crossing at San Diego-Tijuana, they will no doubt hear the following piece of advice:
Never drive outside of a town/city at night.
This advice isn’t referring to any criminal issues. In fact, the most significant hazard on the roads across the whole peninsula at night is livestock.
A staggering number of road traffic collisions here are down to vehicles and livestock meeting in the middle of the road. This issue is much more prevalent on the smaller roads, but the highways don’t get off scot-free.
One plus travelers should take from that information is that there’s no question if the meat on their plate is free-range. In Baja California Sur, that’s the default.
Apart from livestock playing chicken with Chevies, another big issue at night is one that has caused many to meet a sad fate: driving while under the influence.
While DUI is just as illegal in Mexico as it is in America, it hasn’t received the same level of enforcement in recent years. This is an issue that law enforcement is working to tackle. Recently, it was announced breathalyzers were being reintroduced after a hiatus during the pandemic.
Should Travelers Be Worried?
While news of fatalities on the roads that a visitor will soon travel won’t instill confidence, it always helps to have the full picture.
The only time the majority of travelers will spend on any of the highways will be their airport transfer, which is a short and statistically safe journey.
If travelers do plan to rent a vehicle and explore, which is a very rewarding way to experience the beautiful landscape outside of Los Cabos, it’s important to exercise the same caution as back home. Drive defensively, obey the rules of the road, and never drive while intoxicated.
Bypass The Highway
For travelers planning the ultimate luxury vacation they can completely bypass the need to travel any highway by renting on the destinations private charter helicopters.
There are reputable companies with fantastic safety records available for anyone happy to splurge on that slice of next-level luxury and exclusivity.
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