Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Getting used to car crashes in São Paulo

When I first got here I saw quite a few car crashes and thought it was a coincidence but then I got used to them and realised that the screech + bang combo is part and parcel of daily life in Sampa. Mostly I've seen low speed bumps which have taken off wing mirror, scratched bumpers or dented the bodywork but there are lots of more serious incidents.

According to the 2008 figures published by the University of São Paulo, Department of Transportation there are on average 70,9 fatalities per 100,000 vehicles in Brazil which means more than 35,000 people die in road accidents every year. To put that in context the we are talking 15 fatalities per 100,000 vehicles in the US and 7 per 100,000 in the UK so without exaggerating it's fair to say safe road safety is not exactly the same as back home.

Here are 3 of the high profile ones that the São Paulo media picked up on in the past 30days:

08/08/2011 Lorry that somehow managed to fall from one motorway on to another below it at Raposo Tavares in North West São Paulo

30/07/2011 - Car which overturned and killed a pedestrian close to my house in Vila Madalena

09/07/2011 Porsche being driven at 150km/h in a residential area of Itaim Bibi hits car that drove through a red light at night (a common and accepted practice to avoid theft and carjacking)

Porsche Crash São Paulo

I won't go into the details but all 3 drivers responsible for each incident were able to walk away from their vehicles unharmed. Unfortunately the same can't be said of the people they hit.

I have a driving license but I've never owned a vehicle and something tells me this is not the best city to get back into driving...

1 comment:

Born Again Brazilian said...

I absolutely refuse to drive here, unless it is on the highway and my husband is so tired he is falling asleep. We live in Jardins and almost every night I hear what I believe to be a car crash...

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