Top 10 Most Dangerous Roads in the World
Forget your pothole-riddled neighborhood roads. They are nothing compared to some of the most dangerous roads in the world that even cause death. People living in those areas are grateful whenever they travel on those notorious roads and make it back home alive. Organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) are constantly fighting for the implementation of road safety around the world. According to WHO, it is estimated that around 1.3 million people die in traffic accidents every year. Even though a fraction of those deaths could have been prevented by better driving, some of those deaths were as a result of dangerous roads, poor visibility, and bad weather.
From Skipper’s Pass in New Zealand to the James Dalton Highway in Alaska, these are the most dangerous roads in the world.
10. Jalalabad-Kabul Road, Afghanistan
Not only does this road travel through Taliban territory, which is enough to make it dangerous, but it is full of narrow lanes that climb up a steep 600 meters. This road linking Jalalabad and Kabul is 143km long, is an important one, facilitating trade and humanitarian work as the return of Afghan refugees. The road was completed in 1969 but has since deteriorated into a gravel road. It takes sheer driving skills to be able to drive around the numerous turns. In some instances, wheels are even left hanging over the precipice. Deaths that have occurred on this dangerous road are as a result of reckless driving.
9. Los Caracoles Pass, Chile
Los Caracoles Pass is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. The road is located between Chile and Argentina and travels through the Andreas mountain. In addition to no fencing security, sharp turns and steep slopes, this road is covered in snow for the most part of the year. The road is dangerous enough without snow and it takes really skilled and disciplined drivers to make it through safely. Surprisingly, it is one of the most scenic roads to travel through too. It is well maintained, meaning tourist double-decker buses and even trucks manage to pass through it daily.
8. Skippers Canyon Road, New Zealand
The Skippers Canyon road is simply a narrow cut on a sheer cliff, making it one of the most dangerous roads in the world to drive on. The road is so dangerous that it takes a special permit to be allowed to drive on it. The road is also very narrow such that it becomes difficult for two cars to travel in opposite directions. The Skippers Canyon road is 140 years old and is extremely treacherous that insurance companies refuse to cover any damage obtained while traveling on it.
7. Guoliang Tunnel Road, China
Before the construction of the Guoliang Tunnel road, villagers from Guoliang were cut off from the rest of civilization because of the numerous cliffs surrounding the village. The villagers then took it upon themselves to carve out a road through a mountain. Fortunately, the road doesn’t see a lot of traffic because of its precarious position on the side of a mountain. The road, however, does not allow for any driving mistakes. Any mistakes on the road could lead to fatal accidents because there are no barriers.
6. The Karakoram Highway, between Pakistan and China
This road takes the title for the world’s highest paved road. It connects China and Pakistan and sits at 4600 meters high. The road passes through the Karakoram mountain range and is prone to several accidents as a result of landslides and floods that often plague the area. Despite that, the road which also passes through the Khunjerab Pass, still makes for a tourist attraction. Visitors get a chance to enjoy the scenic beauty of gorges found along the former Silk Road. Close to 900 workers have died while constructing the road.
5. The Zoji Pass, India
The Zoji Pass, which is one of the most dangerous roads in the world, is located along the Indian National Highway. It sits at 3500 meters and is the second highest pass in the country. Despite the fact that it is a crumbling dirt trail, it is still important to residents in the area as it connects Kashmir and Ladakh. During winter, the road is closed as it becomes virtually unpassable.
4. Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China
This high elevation road found between Tibet and Chengdu has recorded 7,500 deaths for every 100,000 people. The road is plagued with avalanches, rock slides and poor weather making it one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Drivers who are brave enough to risk driving along this road, are reminded to drive with caution as it has a whopping 48 sharp turns each of which is potentially an accident site.
3. James Dalton Highway, Alaska
The James Dalton Highway, which is 667km road begins at Elliot Highway and ends at Deadhorse near the Arctic Ocean. The road appears harmless at first although it is riddled with potholes and small flying stones. But what makes the James Dalton Highway one of the most dangerous in the world is not the potholes, but the fact that for 386km on the road, motorists have no access to any hotels, gas stations, restaurants, or other basic services. It is basically in the middle of nowhere.
2. The Stelvio Pass, Italy
The Stelvio Pass, which sits at 9050 feet in Italy, is the second highest paved mountain pass in the Alps. An overhead shot of the road makes it look like a child scribbled onto the mountain side. It has various hairpin turns and climbs for almost two kilometers. Some of the turns have 60-degree corners. Only a low cement barrier separates motorists from severe injuries and even death.
1. North Yungas Road, Bolivia
The North Yungas road is nicknamed “The Road of Death” for a reason. Between 200 to 300 deaths occur along that road every year. It was christened as the world’s most dangerous road and has markings along various parts of it that help alert motorists to drive carefully along those particular sections of the road. It is normal to hear of buses and cars tumbling to the valley below. The road is so narrow that it’s difficult for two buses to safely pass each other.
Some of the above roads, named the most dangerous roads in the world, provide a great scenic view and are tourist attractions. If you intend to visit any of them, you’re advised to exercise extreme caution.