Here is a list of 10 most dangerous roads in the world. These roads have high death rates and are extremely dangerous. The people who live around these areas depend on these roads for their daily transportation; so consider yourself lucky. About 1.3 million people die in traffic accidents every year. The World Health Organization has declared 2011-2021, “A decade of action for road safety.” But while many of those deaths could be prevented by better driving, there are some roads that test the skill, and courage, of any driver.
About 1.3 million people die in traffic accidents every year. The World Health Organization has declared 2011-2021, “A decade of action for road safety.”
But while many of those deaths could be prevented by better driving, there are some roads that test the skill, and courage, of any driver. Whether it’s hairpin bends, sheer mountain drops or roads through war zones, here are some of the world’s most dangerous roads.
1. The Zoji Pass, India
The Zoji La is a mountain road between Kashmir and Ladakh and it looks like little more than a dusty pathway through the western Himalayas.
But it’s a lifeline that keeps the people of Ladakh in touch with the rest of the world, although it’s often cut off by heavy snow in winter.
The nine-kilometer stretch of road meanders over the mountain at 3,528 meters, with no barrier on one side and just the hard rock face on the other. Definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo or a fear of landslides.
2. The Highway of Death, Iraq
Most Iraqi roads are dangerous at the moment, but Highway 80, from Kuwait City to Basra in Iraq, went down in history as the “Highway of Death” in the first Gulf War when a retreating column of Iraqi tanks and trucks was bombed by U.S. aircraft in February 1991, destroying 2,700 vehicles.
The death toll has never been accurately established and estimates vary from 300 to 10,000. The end of the war came just days after images of burnt-out vehicles and charred bodies were broadcast around the world.
3. The road from Jalalabad to Kabul, Afghanistan
Many roads have been dubbed “most dangerous,” but the 65-kilometer stretch of highway from Jalalabad to Kabul has more claim than most, snaking through Taliban territory.
But it’s not the threat of insurgency that makes Highway 1 so dangerous — it’s a combination of the narrow, winding lanes that climb up to 600 meters through the Kabul gorge and the reckless Afghan drivers trying to overtake the heavily-burdened haulage trucks.
Fatal crashes are a daily occurrence.
4. The Widow-maker, United Kingdom
This scenic country road through England’s Peak District was named by the Road Safety Foundation in 2010 as the United Kingdom’s most dangerous road, with 34 fatal or serious accidents from 2006 to 2008.
Many of the casualties are motorcyclists, who come to enjoy the wide open space and bucolic scenes.
However, the road’s treacherous bends, edged by steep embankments and stone walls, make it far more dangerous than it looks, leading to its grim local nickname, the “widow-maker.”
5. Guoliang Tunnel in the Taihang mountains, China
The Guoliang Tunnel road in China’s Henan province is scary enough for today’s drivers, but for the Chinese villagers who hacked this 1.2-kilometer tunnel along the edge of the Taihang mountains in 1972, it proved deadly.
Some of them perished during construction, which was done mainly with hand tools. Four meters wide and five meters high, the tunnel also has some open edges over a rocky precipice so its nickname, “the road that does not tolerate mistakes,” is pretty apt.
6. The Stelvio Pass, Italy
The Stelvio Pass located in Italy, at 9045 feet is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps, and the second highest in the Alps, slightly below the Col de l’Iseran 9088 feet. Some roads look a lot more dangerous than they really are. With more hairpins than Helena Bonham Carter, the Stelvio Pass looks like a child’s scribble over the hills. The road climbs almost two kilometers and, with just a low concrete barrier between you and the steep mountain drop, it’s best not to look down. A bit too much speed on one of the road’s 60 180-degree corners could spell disaster.
7. Skippers Canyon Road, New Zealand
The Skippers Canyon Road, located in New Zealand, is unbelievably scary as it’s made from a very narrow cut in the middle of a sheer cliff face. This winding road actually requires a special permit to drive. If you do manage to get permission though, be ready for a slippery challenge and good luck if you run into someone coming from the other direction.
8. James Dalton Highway, Alaska
Many roads have been dubbed “most dangerous,” but the 65-kilometer stretch of highway from Jalalabad to Kabul has more claim than most, snaking through Taliban territory. But it’s not the threat of insurgency that makes Highway so dangerous. It’s a combination of the narrow, winding lanes that climb up to 600 meters through the Kabul gorge and the reckless Afghan drivers trying to overtake the heavily-burdened haulage trucks.
9. North Yungas Road, Bolivia
Also known as the “Road of Death” in the Yungas region of Bolivia. It is legendary for its extreme danger and the Inter-American Development Bank christened it as the “world’s most dangerous road”. One estimate is that 200 to 300 travellers are killed yearly along the road. The road includes cross markings on many of the spots where vehicles have fallen. It is a regular occurrence for buses and trucks to go tumbling to the valley below, especially when they try passing each other.
10. Halsema Highway (Philippines)
Located on the island of Luzon, the Halsema Highway runs through the Central Cordillera Valley in the Philippines from Baguio to Bontoc and farther on toward Tabuk and Tuguegarao. Landslides and rock falls are common, often stranding motorists for long periods of time. Many portions of the road are still unpaved, although work is supposedly in progress to bring about some improvements, and there are plenty of drop-offs that are steep enough to kill you.
Foggy conditions paired with the lack of much-needed guardrails in certain areas only complicate the Halsema Highway’s already dangerous conditions.
11. Luxor – al – Hurghada Road (Egypt)
The violent attacks along this road are dangerous enough by themselves, but what sometimes makes it even worse is the fact that most people who drive at night don’t use headlights for fear of announcing their approach. Yes, it could be a great way to avoid unseen enemies, but it also invites other disasters in the form of head-on collisions.
Invisibility might save you from one threat, but there’s a good chance it will deliver you into the hands of another. Consider buying some of those night vision goggles if you plan to drive this road after dark.
12. Fairy Meadows Road (Pakistan)
Situated at the base of Pakistan’s 26,660-foot Nanga Parbat, Fairy Meadows is a picturesque destination for backpackers, photographers, and mountain climbers who want to get closer to the enormous peak and enjoy the scenery. Getting to Fairy Meadows, however, is not such an attractive experience. Part of the trip involves surviving a 6-mile, hour-long drive on an unstable gravel road hacked out of the barren hills.
From Raikot Bridge to the village of Tato, this ‘road’ offers the motorist all the insane features of your typical mountainside dirt trail. It’s narrow, unpaved, steep, and of course there aren’t any guardrails to prevent your Jeep from rolling down into the gorge. You can’t even drive it all the way to Fairy Meadows; the last section has to be covered by bicycle or on foot.
A great road for adventurers, Fairy Meadows Road is definitely not for the faint of heart.