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Old Sep 2, 13, 11:34 am
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,188
As sophisticated and worldly as most of us are (well, at least me), not everyone who uses this site has in fact driven in many other countries with chaotic traffic situations (not necessarily worse drivers, but more inconsistent enforcement, worse roads, etc.). I've driven in Mozambique, South Africa, the Philippines and other countries, but I still don't find it easy to drive in Brazil. In Ceará, traffic enforcement is left largely to cameras, and people know where the cameras are (and where they don't have to worry about it; bus drivers don't seem to worry in any event, perhaps since it's not their vehicle and they are bigger than most-- not all-- other vehicles around). Fortaleza is also the only city in Brazil, I believe, where if you have an accident, even a fender bender, you are to keep your car exactly where it is until the local motor vehicle folks arrive to survey the situation. Plays havoc with traffic, and Ceará's DETRAN was against it, but the city insisted. Best to have a cell phone to contact authorities, and your insurance company (even if through the rental company). If you don't speak Portuguese, things could be complicated.

I certainly wouldn't equate gringo drivers with Mister Magoo. I might equate some (not all) Brazilian drivers with Goofy Brazilian friends brag about how quickly they get from Point A to Point B on weekend getaways,, but they also complain how bad local drivers are. Things do vary by region. I've driven in Rio, but not Salvador (or Sao Paulo).

Yes, there are many horrible, aggressive drivers everywhere, including in the good ol US of A, but some places are worse than others, and visitors do at least need to take that into consideration. I do think that nowadays most if not all rental cars have air bags. When we rented 3-4 years ago near Recife, only the higher-end cars had them.

Last edited by SoCal; Sep 2, 13 at 11:41 am
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