Here are some thoughts from Danna on driving in Panama:
One thing that really stands out to me about Panama: the number of things that are on the road that are NOT motorized vehicles. Cows, horses, dogs, chickens, pigs, sloths and MANY pedestrians….on foot, on bicycles, pushing strollers, carrying groceries, walking in groups, school kids, kids by themselves, kids with no shoes, motorcycle cops on their phones, cardboard cutouts of motorcycle cops, (I’m not of sure the purpose of this one) the list is endless. And not just on the side streets either, but on the curvy mountain roads, even on the trans-American highway where cars travel more than 100km per hour. And did I mention there are zero sidewalks, crosswalks or even much shoulder? Pedestrians routinely cross this highway a la 1980’s Frogger style with what appears to be no concern and the animals feel absolutely no need to move out of the road for you. And this doesn’t even include the many types of other motorized vehicles that routinely travel the roads where risky passing (accompanied by much honking) seems to be a national sport. And don’t even get me started on the road quality and the endless road construction to supposedly fix said road conditions. It’s really a miracle we’ve all survived without any major incidents. If we make it back to Panama City in one piece I’ll be amazed!