quarta-feira, 11 de março de 2009

Danger on two wheels

Not so long ago, riding a motorbike in Brazil was synonymous with freedom. In recent years, however, it has become synonymous with danger. In a period of 16 years (1990-2006) the number of fatal accidents involving motorbikes rose by 2,252%. According to data from the Ministry of Health, in 1990 accidents killed 299 motorcyclists. In 2006 the number of fatal victims had risen to 6,734. In Greater São Paulo there are on average 25 serious accidents a day involving motorbikes, says a study done by Abramet (the Brazilian Association of Traffic Medicine). This increase in the number of accidents is down to various factors. One of them is the large increase in the number of motorbikes in the country. There are currently 13 million motorbikes on the streets of Brazil, according to data from Denatran.

Any error could be fatal

The increased size of the motorbike fleet is probably not the main cause of the increase in the number of accidents. Some specialists say the increased number of accidents has been caused by the errors made by motorcyclists. The more inexperienced the rider, the greater the risk they will take. So says Marcelo Massarani, a professor at USP. In an interview with the Folha Online site he said that out of every five fatal accidents, four involve inexperienced riders. Sérgio Damasceno, president of the State Traffic Board in Rio de Janeiro, also says that most accidents are caused by rider error. In an interview with the G1 (Globo) website he said the most common errors are: “Riding between two cars, running red lights, and tailgating.” In addition, speeding does not help.


1. wheel – roda
2. riding a motorbike – andar de moto
3. freedom – liberdade
4. to rise – crescer
5. date – informação / dados
6. Greater São Paulo – Grande São Paulo
7. is down to – aqui = se deve a
8. size – tamanho
9. fleet – frota
10. running red lights – passar o sinal vermelho
11. tailgating – “colar” no carro da frente
12. speeding – andar em alta velocidade

Fonte – Revista Maganews