BR-116 is a merciless 2,700-mile stretch of federal highway of Brazil spearing up the coast of the country. At 4,385 kilometres (2,725 mi), it’s the second longest highway of the country, running from the north of Brazil to the south, roughly parallel to the coastline. It’s the worst road in the world for the sexual exploitation of children.
The surface of the road is asphalted. It links Fortaleza in Ceará State with Jaguarão near the Uruguay border, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. It’s one of the main important highways in the country. It has the highest concentration of truckers. The BR-116 is the most active road in the world for the sexual exploitation of children. 262places along the BR-116 where children are known to be sold for sex – the equivalent of one every ten miles. The problem is ignored, and victims are found hundreds of miles outside of their home towns. Brazil itself is second only to Thailand in the number of children in prostitution – half a million are estimated to live in this way (UNICEF).
The road is nicknamed as Highway to Hell or Highway of Death, due to its many accidents caused by the unstable weather conditions of the region. It’s one of the most dangerous roads in the world, jam-packed with nerve-racking obstacles. The road's winding design, providing stunning panoramic views, is very curvy and fun for a leisurely ride, so it pays to take it slow. BR-116 has the highest concentration of big rigs on it at any given moment. Pair an endless stream of overworked, tired truckers with the inconsistent terrain of the highway and you've got yourself a recipe for disaster. The Sao Paulo-Curitiba section of the highway is perhaps the most dangerous. The road-some of it paved, some not-runs along the edges of steep cliffs just waiting for drivers to slip up.
The route demands 100% concentration and requires strong nerves to negotiate it. Drivers must remain cautious as the pass has been known to claim the lives of careless drivers. The road is responsible for thousands of road deaths every year. With terrible road surfaces, poor weather conditions, and often dangerously close to cliff edges it's no surprise. Not only that, Police patrols are rare and drivers are often attacked by gangs and armed bandits. Driving on the BR-116 demands that a trucker be attentive, alert and constantly concentrates on the road ahead. According to medical experts, there is so significant association between loss of concentration, tiredness, fatigue and automobile accidents. Truckers on the BR-116 suffer from exhausting work schedules which can lead to high blood pressures and cardiovascular alterations. Long haul truckers in Brazil also suffer from lack of career adaptation and stress. These factors are associated with mental disorders. The use of alcohol and medication to enhance alertness by truckers on the BR-116 is consistent with common strategies of coping with professional and personal situations.