Brazil has the biggest road network in Latin America; it is over 1.6 million kilometers. In practice, roads in Brazil can be dangerous, if you are used to driving in Europe. That is why you have to learn the road system of Brazil before you will arrive there.
The majority of roads are in a good condition, especially in the South and in the North of the country, but in other regions there are unimproved or dirt roads, for example, in the Amazon area.

The main Brazilian road traffic rules and some advices:

  • In Brazil, the speed limits are 60 km/h (37 mph) inside the cities, 80 km/h (50 mph) in the countryside, and 120 km/h (75 mph) on highways. However, most drivers break the speed limits. But there are many electronic devices which fix speed; furthermore, they take pictures of violator's car and license plates as a basis for issuing speeding tickets.
  • Cars are driven on the right side of the road.
  • You must use seatbelts in your car and have child car seats in accordance with the Federal law of Brazil. Children from 7 and half to 10 years old must be in the back seats (not in the front seat) wearing seatbelts.
  • There are checkpoints in urban areas, where chosen drivers are tested on content of alcohol in their blood with the breathalyzers. Drivers under the influence are in violation of the law.
  • Turns at Red lights are not permitted. But you can turn on red only if there is a sign with an arrow pointing to the right and the words "Livre a Direita".
  • The foreigners must drive in Brazil using their original driving permit and International driver license.
  • The legal driving age is 18, but the most of renting companies don't allow to rent a car for people younger than 21.
  • Mobile phones can be used only in accident with a "hands-free" system.
  • Drivers should keep doors locked and windows closed, especially, at night, due to the high criminality (carjacking and robbery at the traffic lights). It is allowed for drivers don't stop at the red lights at night in major cities, for example, San Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
  • Temporary visitors, who hold full National driving permits and International driver licenses, can drive in Brazil for six months. They must carry their both documents – National driving permits and International driver licenses – at all times when driving. Visitors who hold full driving permits issued by countries that Brazil has signed and ratified agreements or international conventions may obtain a full Brazilian license without taking the complete test.

Brazilian Road Traffic Signs

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