Roads have made it possible to travel and transport goods for thousands of years, but some prove to be significantly more dangerous thoroughfares. These precarious driving conditions can be due to:
- Poor upkeep and maintenance
- Weather conditions
- Sharp turns and narrow paths
- Impending heights
While most well traveled roads are subject to continual inspection and preservation, more isolated routes can become perilous without the same attention to safety.
Here are 16 of the world’s most dangerous roads that make walking seem like a much more viable option.
16. Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road in Greece claims numerous deaths each year. The mountain road, located in the northeastern part of Aetolia-Acarnania, is not only steep, it’s narrow, full of twists, and has no rail to guard drivers.
15. The A726 highway near Glasgow has been named the most dangerous road in Scotland. The seven-kilometer road saw over 35 fatal or serious collisions in a span of five years with most involving pedestrians or cyclists.
14. A 353 mile stretch of road from the Alabama-Tennessee line to Dothan, US Route Highway 431, has been dubbed by many as the ‘highway to hell.’ Many fatalities have been attributed to the road’s poor visibility, sudden 2-4 lane changes and speeding.
13. The Barton Highway is notoriously considered to be Australia’s most dangerous. Besides having continual congestion problems, the Barton Highway has seen countless accidents due to the hard shoulder width and a lack of necessary safety barriers.
12. Luxor-al-Hurghada Road in Egypt isn’t considered dangerous due to the conditions of the route, but due to the people who occupy it. Many accidents occur as the result of travelers driving with their headlights off after dark to remain out of sight to bandits and terrorists.
11. Fairy Meadows Road may sound innocuous, but the Pakistan stretch is hazardously unmaintained and has no guard rails to protect travelers from falling at least 2,000 feet if they make a wrong move.
9. Halsema Highway in the Philippines was considered one of the most dangerous highways in the world for many years, but has since been given much needed improvements. Prior to the updates, the highway regularly saw numerous accidents and overturned buses due to frequent landslides and foggy conditions.
8. While offering incredible views, the Pasubio in northern Italy has proven to be so dangerous that motorists aren’t allowed past a certain point. The narrow and slippery roads can easily end with travelers falling into the steep ravine, but some locals test their luck and continue to bike through.
7. Drivers on the Taroko Gorge Road in Taiwan risk falling into a gorge below due to the blind curves and sharp turns that wind through the cliffs and mountains. Pedestrians, scooters, cars, and tour buses fight for space on the narrow path and weather conditions can make sections of the route impassable.
5. The Himalayan Roads, the hazardous network of unpaved routes that lead up to the Himalayas, are dangerously narrow and slippery. The roads are decorated with numerous wrecked cars and toppled buses that have fallen victim to the treacherous conditions of these thoroughfares.
4. One of Brazil’s longest highways is also one of the deadliest, federal highway BR-116 claims thousands of deaths annually due to poor upkeep and also threats from gangs and bandits.
3. Alaska’s James W. Dalton Highway is the longest stretch of service-less road in North America. The road is littered with potholes, poor visibility, sudden 2-4 lane changes, and heavy winds that tend to send small rocks flying.
1. Considered the most dangerous road in the world, North Yungas Road in Bolivia is estimated to have 200 to 300 travellers die along the stretch annually. The mostly guardless road has many steep hillsides and is known to have treacherous weather conditions as well as frequent rockfalls.