Vehicle traffic in Brazil is seven times more lethal than it is in the United States. Every year 35,000 Brazilians die on the country’s highways and 500,000 are injured in traffic accidents.
Twenty percent (100,000) of the people injured have permanent injuries. Every day in Brazil, 100 people die in traffic accidents.
According to David Duarte, an expert on vehicles accidents, a doctor and a professor at the University of Brasília, highway accidents cost Brazil around R$30 billion annually – in personal medical expenses, lost work hours and material damage.
Duarte says there are three reasons for the high accident rate in Brazil: bad drivers (They drive irresponsibly, take unnecessary risks and endanger others), bad roads (The government does not repair roads regularly) and bad vehicles (Proper vehicle maintenance seems to be something most people are not aware of. They drive without brakes, for example).
Duarte says the solution is education, not punishment. "In Brazil it is often the case that a person is punished before he has been made aware of a norm. That is no good," he declared.
In 1997 Brazil got a modern traffic code that caused a drop of around 15% in highway accidents and deaths.