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Subject: Highways in Brazil

Posted by Alexandre
On Sunday, April 23, 2000 at 13:29:21

Caution with highway travels inside Brazil. The Brazilian road system is one of the biggest in the world (more than 1.5 millions of roads) but most of them are unpaved or in very poor state.
Here are some facts about highways in Brazil:


There are goods freeways (with tolls plazas) in Sao Paulo State, linking the capital (Sao Paulo City) with other cities in the state. Some good examples are Anhanguera (SP-330), Imigrantes (SP-160), Castello Branco (SP-280) and smallers ones. Generally the asphalt is in good conditions and roadside services are very good.
In the rest of Brazil there are few freeways, like Via Dutra (Rio-Sao Paulo) and a new one linking Sao Paulo City to Porto Alegre, called Rodovia do Mercosul).
Brazil doesn´t have a interstatual highways systems like United States, so long distances travels are done in roads and highways.


The problems are here. Most part of Brazilian road system are made of poor state roads, with potholes and lack of services. Traveling on them is like fighting a war agains trucks, potholes, crazy drivers (Brazil has a terrible rate of accidents) and corrupt policemen.
Thw worst situation is in the Northeast, were the main road connecting all the states is BR-101 a two-way lane congestioned with trucks and with parts were the cars cannot run faster than 50 KM/H (35 MP/H) without the risk of breaking the car in a pothole.
The most dangerous roads in Brazil are BR-101 (Natal-Salvador), BR-050 (Rio-Belo Horizonte), BR-116 (Sao Paulo City-Curitiba, now on works) and BR-381 (Sao Paulo City-Belo Horizonte).
If you have to travel on them, be careful: do not travel at night, travel with lots of attention and use caution.

RE: Highways in Brazil
Posted by Nathan
On Sunday, April 23, 2000 at 21:10:44

Thanks for the info, Alex. As for the "crazy drivers" and frequency of needless accidents, I agree wholeheartedly. I once read that although the U.S. has twice as many cars, Brazil has twice as many auto-related deaths. The explanation seems to be cultural in nature. Brazilians seem willing to assume more needless risks and have more of a "devil-may-care" attitude than do their American counterparts. I understand the Brazilian government is trying to encourage more conservative driving via stiffer penalties. In your opinion, has that helped a little?
RE: Highways in Brazil
Posted by Brasil informant
On Monday, April 24, 2000 at 18:44:09

Well. Do not go to Brasil. Unless you have 2 lifes.
If you HAVE to go Brasil - get a helicopter.
(And a bodyguard - there are also
hiwaymen, you know?)
RE: Highways in Brazil
Posted by marc
On Monday, April 24, 2000 at 20:45:04

Nah! The bus system in Brazil is great. I think any first-time novice visitor should avoid driving anywhere except possibly in rural areas in the daytime though.

I also have never felt the need for a bodyguard, although I don't spend much time in the larger cities anymore.

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