Driving is one of the most dangerous activities you do on a daily basis. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the US, 32,675 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2014. It’s estimated that about 1.3 million people die in road crashes world wide (averaging about 3,287 deaths daily) with an additional 20-50 million injuries. Most of these deaths are attributed to alcohol, speeding, lack of safety belt use, and texting. However, an alarming number is also attributed to road designs and conditions. Some of the roads on this list drastically elevate your already high danger probability while driving. So if you want to increase your likelihood of surviving your next driving experience, you may want to consider staying off these 25 most dangerous roads in the world.
Then again, maybe you’re an adrenaline junkie. Maybe, the fact that some of these roads claim the lives of almost 200 people annually is like a dare for you to beat. Or then again, maybe you’ve traveled through these roads, not realizing that you were taking life in your own hands (now that’s a scary thought). Whatever the case may be, we invite you to learn about these 25 Extremely dangerous roads where driving might be the last thing you do.
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Trans-Siberian Highway, Russia
Along with the Trans Canada Highway and Australia’s Highway 1, the Trans-Siberian Highway is one of the longest in the world. In order to get from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg, it crosses forests, mountains, deserts, and everything in between. Much of it is unpaved and certainly not ideal for a casual Sunday drive.
Highway 1, Mexico
Measuring 1,711 kilometers (1,063 miles), the Highway 1 (officially known as the Mexican Federal Highway 1) was finished in 1973. While some parts of the road are paved with asphalt, most of it is little more than dirt and rock, winding along dangerous precipices with no railings or guardrails.
Stelvio Pass Road, Italy
A mountain pass road in northern Italy, the Stelvio Pass Road may not be the scariest nor the longest road on our list, but it certainly is one of the most winding. Featuring almost 50 hairpin turns, this treacherous road has been known to give drivers big trouble.
Cotopaxi Volcano Road, Ecuador
Although there are many dangerous sections branching off the Pan-American Highway, it is the Ecuadoran dirt track known as the Cotopaxi Volcano Road that tops the list. Enormous potholes, slippery slopes, and all around precarious driving conditions make this road a major challenge even for the most experienced drivers.
Pan-American Highway, USA to Argentina
As we just said, many dangerous roads branch off the Pan-American Highway but the highway itself can be fairly dangerous as well. Boasting the title of the world´s longest motorable road, the Pan-American Highway crosses two continents and traverses through jungles, mountains, glaciers, and deserts, which can obviously lead to some challenges.
Leading from Oxford to Aberystwyth in the UK, the A-44 road is not dangerous in the same way that the previous roads have been but for some reason, it has been responsible for so many head-on collisions that the government had to step in with countermeasures.
Like route A-44, the A-682 road leading from junction M65 in Lancashire to A65 at Long Preston, North Yorkshire, seems like a quiet and uneventful road. In the past couple of years, however, it has been responsible for hundreds of fatalities. In fact, with a rate of 0.5 deaths per 10 miles (16 km), A-682 is often described as England´s most dangerous road.
Highway 5, Chile
Driving along the Highway 5 (colloquially known as Ruta 5) can seem rather harmless as it runs through flat and wide open spaces. However, drivers are often lulled into a false sense of security, leading them to speed which has often resulted in tragic events.
Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China
Measuring about 2,140 kilometers (1,330 miles), the Sichuan-Tibet Highway is located high up in the Himalayan mountains. With a sad record of over 7.6 deaths for every 100,000 drivers, the road has a good reason to be feared. Due to rock slides, avalanches, and poor weather, drivers should certainly use caution here.
Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road, Greece
The Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road in Greece is a narrow, short mountain road filled with potholes, no guardrails, and is very slippery especially when it rains. Unless you are up for a challenge, it might just be better to walk on this road as it is often bustling with everything from pedestrians to livestock.
Similar to its English counterparts earlier in the list, the A-726 Route leading from Strathaven to Erskine in southern Scotland is another seemingly inconspicuous and sleepy road that has managed to really rack up a serious reputation for head on collisions.
U.S. Route 431, Alabama
Currently running for 556 miles (895 km) from Owensboro, Kentucky to Dothan, Alabama, the U.S. Route 431 has a particularly bad reputation at its Alabama section. There, known as the “Highway to Hell,” the road is dotted with crosses that stand in memory of all the lives the highway has claimed.
Barton Highway, Australia
A short highway in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, the Barton Highway is commonly recognized as the worst highway in Australia. With a length of just 32 miles (52 kilometers), the road still accounts for three fatalities annually.
Luxor-al-Hurghada Road, Egypt
While most of the roads on the list are dangerous for natural reasons, drivers stuck on the Luxor-al-Hurghada Road have a different reason to be wary: Bandits. In fact, after sunset some people will turn off their headlights to prevent being attacked by bandits and terrorists. Naturally, driving without the lights on also leads to frequent accidents.
Fairy Meadows Road, Pakistan
One of the world´s most dangerous mountain trails, the Fairy Meadows Road is an extremely narrow and unstable road that leads to Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world. The most dangerous part of the road involves a narrow 6-mile (10 km) ascend on an unpaved ground with no barriers to prevent a vehicle from falling off the cliff.
Skippers Canyon Road, New Zealand
Located in south-west of New Zealand’s South Island, this incredibly narrow and winding road actually requires a special permit to drive. If you do manage to get the permission though, be ready for a slippery challenge and good luck if you run into someone coming from the other direction.
Halsema Highway, Philippines
The only way to get to Sagada, a popular tourist spot in the Philippines, is via the landslide-prone Halsema Highway. It is one of the most poorly maintained roads in the world and every year, a bus or two will go rolling over its edge.
Strada Delle 52 Gallerie, Italy
Hidden deep in the mountains of northern Italy, Strada Delle 52 Gallerie (which translates as road with 52 galleries) is a military trail built during World War I. A site of many bloody battles, the trail ranks among the most dangerous roads in Italy as it leads around deep canyons and sheer rock faces.
Taroko Gorge Road, Taiwan
Known as one of the most dangerous roads in Taiwan, the Taroko Gorge Road is full of blind curves, sharp turns, and narrow paths leading through cliffs and mountains. However, the drive is worth it as the road passes through the Taroko National Park and the spectacular Taroko gorge.
Guoliang Tunnel Road, China
Located in the Henan Province in eastern China, this road was hollowed out of the side of a mountain by local people. Before the construction of this mountain pass, the village was cut off from the rest of civilization by the surrounding cliffs. Although it doesn’t see much traffic, due to its construction, it is inherently fairly dangerous.
North Yungas Road, Bolivia
Once considered the most dangerous road in the world, the North Yungas Road is a narrow mountain trail leading from La Paz to Coroico, 56 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of La Paz in the Yungas region of Bolivia. In 2006, one estimate stated that 200 to 300 travelers were killed yearly along this road.
The second longest road in Brazil, BR-116 is a federal highway connecting Fortaleza and Jaguarão. Nicknamed “The Highway of Death,” the road claims numerous human lives every year due to its poor maintenance and unstable weather conditions and even threats from local gangs and bandits.
Dalton Highway, Alaska
Built in 1974 as a supply road to support the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, the Dalton Highway in Alaska, although appearing serene at first glance, is filled with potholes, small flying rocks carried by fast winds, and worst of all, it runs through the middle of nowhere.
Tianmen Mountain Road, China
Located in China’s fantasy world-like Tianmen Mountain National Park in the Hunan Province, this road has 99 sharp bends as it winds 11 kilometers (7 miles) up to an elevation of 1,300 meters (4,265 feet).
Passage du Gois, France
Located on France’s Atlantic coast, the road floods twice daily with incoming tides and as the tides go out, slippery seaweed is left all over it, making this road highly dangerous even when it is above sea level. Surprisingly, Passage du Gois has been used by the Tour de France bicycle race.