Bad Drivers in the Third World - An Example

Third-world Bad Drivers can scare the living daylights out of you, when you least expect it.

I'm driving a rental car in the back areas of Brazil on the way to Petrópolis, a city near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I reach the main road and almost ran into the back end of this man's car.

A Bad Driver in Brazil - All three Brake Lights were out.

I had been following him and looked down, then back up. Now I'm about to crash into him.

I slam the brakes. I thank the Lord for full car insurance. (I ALWAYS get full insurance ANYTIME I drive on the left or drive in third world countries.)

I stop just in time.

It's beyond too close. He starts up again. I follow at a distance.

Something is wrong, deadly wrong.

The hairs on the back of neck began to crawl. This happens to me when true danger comes knocking. Like the time I worked on a live 2000Vac power line, or realized I had been pick pocketed in Rome, Italy.

But what was it here? I have both hands tight on the wheel. I keep my distance from him. My eyes are wide open.

My reflexes are relaxed in hair-trigger control mode. This is where my conscious mind looks for danger. My unconscious mind is wired to hit the brakes, when danger is discovered. I can be extremely fast.

It slowly dawns on me. He has no brake lights. This automatically him worse than most bad drivers.

He would slow down without warning. No tail lights, no break lights. I relax further. I go out of danger mode. I breath in slowly and deeply to relieve tension, now that I know what was going on.

Poor guy. This is one Brazilian who is going to die. He should be worried. But of course he isn't. He is Brazilian...

He pulls over. I stop and get out of my car to confront him, to inform him of the danger that threatens his life.

I tell him that his brake lights are out in terrible Brazilian Portuguese and sign language. I point at his break lights and say, "Kaput" wave my hands as in "not working."

He frowns. He asks passersby to confirm it, which they do. And he thanks me. Good guy.

This is too much adventure for one day for me. I need to stop and relax.

Watch out for these Third World bad drivers. They can create a very bad day.

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