How to read car indicators in Peru

Gum trees by the side of the road!

Gum trees by the side of the road on the way into Abancay… we could even smell the eucalyptus. So good!

25 October – Day 95

Ayacucho, Peru to Abancay, Peru
Distance: 390kms

We drove further than expected today because – not withstanding the 90 minutes we spent riding around Ayacucho in circles and in the morning peak hour traffic looking for a petrol station that sold 95 or 97 octane fuel (*sigh*) – we made relatively good time to our intended stop.

For this reason, we pressed on to Abancay so that we had a shorter day to Cusco tomorrow. We’ll be having a few days off there, and we need it.

Yesterday’s post contains a good summary of the road conditions; it was pretty much more of the same today: windy, roadworks, river crossings, uphill, downhill, gravel etc.

So instead of talking about the day, I figured I’d provide a helpful summary of how to interpret car indicator signals on the roads in Peru and the central/south American region more generally. It’s based on extensive firsthand experience, and other travellers may find it of use.

Left indicator:

  • Please overtake me.
  • I am about to pull out and overtake the car in front of me.
  • Although I am driving very slowly, if you pull out to overtake me I will speed up and move across the road to reduce the amount of space you have to do so.
  • I am turning left.
  • I am turning right.
  • I am continuing straight ahead.
  • I am pulling over to the side of the road.
  • I am doing a u-turn in the middle of the road.
  • I am stopping unexpectedly and have my hazard lights on but I’ve blown one of the bulbs.
  • I am driving “normally” and have my indictor on for no apparent reason.

Both indicators simultaneously (ie hazard lights):

  • I am stopping unexpectedly because there is traffic/animals/an obstacle in the road ahead.
  • Please overtake me.
  • Don’t overtake me, it’s dangerous right now.
  • I am turning left.
  • I am turning right.
  • I am continuing straight ahead.

Right indicator:

  • See ‘left indicator’ above.
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3 thoughts on “How to read car indicators in Peru

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