Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beware of Cars in Rio!

I saved a woman's life yesterday!  Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration.  I saved a woman's knee from getting bruised and possibly swollen yesterday!  See why I exaggerated.  Sounded so much better the first time.

I was waiting at the cross walk when a parked car started backing up.  There was a middle aged woman waiting and the car practically hit her. I yelled to her, she hit the car, and the driver drove away.  He was a inch away from her leg at that point. The kicker, he had plenty of space in front of him to pull out.  He didn't need to keep backing up.

So here's my tip, as a pedestrian, be scared of cars in Rio. They will hit you.  They will hit you and they will think it was your fault.  I almost got hit by a car while on the sidewalk with my boys in the Hulk (our double stroller).  We were cruising along and some bastard decided to pull out, he was parked on the sidewalk, and almost hit us.  My bad for not paying attention but I really didn't think I had to look out for cars on the sidewalk!  And what is with the obsession of backing up as far as possible when you have plenty of space in front?

So visitors and ex-Pats, know what Cariocas already know. They will hit you!  Be careful when you J-walk. We all do it but, again, I can't stress it enough that they will hit you should you not move fast enough. 

The only time a Carioca is not all Zen is when they are driving.


  1. I did hear about driving (and walking) in Rio. Not for the timid or unaware apparently! I was told to wait until the first line of cars has stopped at a red light before daring to cross in front of them on foot.

  2. In case your message wasn't clear to someone, I'll second that.
    They WILL hit you. Will.

    For quite a long time I was very angry at this rule. In Canada, Car stops for you!
    In Brazil, Car will run you down and then drive away.

    As much as you hate it, don't test the theory out. I have already tested it out and my conclusions are: CARS WILL HIT YOU! So run.

  3. Buses will hit you too! I know.