For those who lack excitement in their daily lives, I would recommend driving on the highways of Puerto Rico. Nowhere else will you encounter more sheer bravado and knuckle-whitening stunts than navigating the expressways of this island paradise.
There are a few things you need to understand first. Puerto Rico is approximately 35 x 100 miles across. This sounds like nothing, especially when you're used to driving the long stretches of US highways; however, the entire center of the island is packed with mountains (La Cordillera Central) and treacherous winding local roads which take forever to drive. Besides making you completely nauseous as you go round and round interminable curves, these roads have the added charms of unexpected encounters with horses, cows, and other animals, few or no retaining walls or dividers to protect you from oncoming traffic or falls off steep precipices, and irregular pavements (read potholes).
As a result, anyone who wants to go somewhere that is not directly on the coastline takes one of the several expressways that have been carved out of the mountains. By now, you've probably gotten the idea that driving in Puerto Rico is a creative enterprise. One has to be ready for every kind of surprise. However, driving on the highways bumps the creativity up a notch. Let me give you some examples.
Puerto Rico is a curious mixture of English and metric systems of measurement. Gasoline is sold by the liter. Highways are marked in kilometers and hectometers, yet highway signs tell you how many miles it is to your destination. These signs warn you in advance of your exits, yet when the actual exit appears, all it says is Salida (Exit). If you haven't been paying attention, you have no way of knowing if it is the correct exit. Since many people are distracted by cell phones (handsfree operation is not mandated here), CD players, crying children, and/or animated conversations, they often miss exits. Rather than continue to the next exit, a typical maneuver is to pull into the emergency lane and back up to the missed exit. This can be very disconcerting when you're coming along at top speed in the right lane only to see a car approaching in reverse. A variant on this maneuver is the U-turn across the esplanade, a popular strategy among SUV drivers and something that never fails to startle me when I'm coming along in the left lane.
Highway driving is further complicated by the presence of grazing animals along the roadside, animals which occasionally stray into the lanes. Another fun feature is the toll plazas which accept pennies, so you may have the good fortune to be behind someone who is emptying their piggy bank to pay the toll.
Speeding is the norm at all times. Some of my students tell me that they routinely make it from San Juan to Mayaguez, on the opposite side of the island, in 2 hours, a trip that never takes me less than 3 hours. All of my students can recount stories of being pulled over for speeding; however, the fact is that the odds favor their getting away with speeding since there are relatively few highway cops, and most of those ignore all but the most flagrant violations.