Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Peruvians Are the Worst Drivers in the World

Good drivers are extremely rare in Peru. In fact, I would dare to claim that Peru has the worst drivers in the world, and definitely the worst I've ever encountered in my life. With the exception of the driver that we had in Manu NP, all other drivers that we saw were dare-devils, always playing with their own, as well as their passengers’ lives.

All in all we spent maybe 30 hours on Peruvian roads, during which we saw several accidents and multiple near-hits (a few including the bus in which we were traveling!) I felt extremely frustrated about that, because the roads in Peru are very good and not crowded at all, so there should be no accidents.

The accidents happen because Peruvian drivers think that curves are the best place to pass other cars, that the double line simply marks the middle of the road, and that driving fast in rain and/or fog is the best way of dealing with those adverse weather conditions. Sadly, I also have to conclude that Peruvian drivers do not learn. After a near-hit, they slow down for a minute or two, say prayers to God and St. Christopher (the patron of drivers), and then they go back to their old way of driving.

You might think that I’m being dramatic and overstating the situation. To prove that’s not the case, I have a movie and a few photos for you. The movie shows that not even the densest of fogs can slow down a Peruvian driver, whereas the photos show our bus ignoring the road signs (the double line, the dangerous curve sign), a truck that fell off the road as a result of speeding on a curve, and multiple crosses along the road commemorating people who got killed there. All those photos were taken during a short (mere six hours) drive from Puno to Arequipa!

Driving through the thick-as-milk fog on the way to Colca Canyon:

A few photos from a short, six-hour drive from Puno to Arequipa:

Despite all of that it was a pretty drive:

A cement factory-from a distance, it almost looked like a mirage: