While there are a number of similarities in comparing my recent travels to Mexico, Costa Rica and now Honduras, there is one that stands out as being particularly important to folks traveling by car. It may not be the most fascinating part of road touring, but it might save time and money from future car repairs. Let me introduce you to the speed bump.

They come in a variety of styles: the row of giant ball-headed thumb tacks, the cement curb, the mini-ramp (a la USA, but this one might kill you), and my personal favorite, the giant rope. None should be taken lightly, and all were created as a significant impediment to your car.

Speed bumps here don’t just slow a car down — like in the U.S. where the speed bump can be nearly ignored. In Central America, speed bumps do exactly what they are supposed to do, stop traffic. Local drivers will come to almost a complete stop when crossing these silent but deadly road monitors. Visitors are urged to do the same.

The important thing for potential drivers in Central America to remember is that many roads are in are poorly lit at night and the speed bump can will be there — lurking — and can appear almost anywhere, without warning. Locals know they are coming. Now you do to.

Keep a close eye while driving into, or exiting, all towns, near schools and churches, and at all security check points. This means drivers may never put the peddle to the metal with slow and steady winning the race in Central America. The upside means better views of roadside attractions — even when driving.

After slowly, creepingly, crossing countless speed bumps of all shapes, I never missed a thing. And oddly, the slow down actually helped me visit a few Honduran towns not originally on my itinerary.