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BR-116 runs in a north-south way, near, but not in Brazil's coastline. It is the major Brazilian highway, and it is the second longest of the country. Numerous parts of the long path taken by the BR-116 have other official names.
The highway is especially busy along the Joinville-Curitiba-São Paulo-Rio de Janeiro section. The Curitiba-São Paulo section of the highway is known as Rodovia Régis Bittencourt, nicknamed "Rodovia da Morte" (Highway of death), due to its many accidents caused by the unstable weather conditions of the region. The São Paulo-Rio de Janeiro section is named Rodovia Presidente Dutra, and it is the busiest section of the highway, running into or near of 15 cities with more than 200.000 inhabitants.