While the thought of danger and the ensuing adrenaline rush may excite thrill-seekers and daredevils, the world’s most dangerous roads may give them pause. Sure, hundreds if not thousands of locals traverse these deadly roads day-in and day-out, but for the inexperienced drivers and tourists, these international roads, routes, paths, and highways will most likely mean certain doom. From rocky and gravel roadways to near isolation to extreme weather, the world’s most dangerous roads certainly live up to their name.
“Road Of Death” – Bolivia
Drawing around 25,000 tourists each year, the “Road Of Death” is formally known as Yungas Road. Because of its narrow one lane of traffic, steep slopes (and cliffs), lack of guardrails, and consistent rainy and foggy weather, it’s no surprise that Yungas Road has garnered such a name for itself. Despite its dangerous conditions, the Road of Death still caters to touring mountain bikers.
Killer Highway – Philippines
Now recognized as Commonwealth Avenue, this Philippine highway was once named in honor of former President Ferdinand Marcos’ father, Don Mariano Marcos Avenue. Regardless, Commonwealth Highway receives its harsh moniker as the six to eighteen-lane highway is known for its high rate of accidents and deaths. In fact, a 37 MPH speed limit was established as unenforced speeding caused many of these accidents.
James Dalton Highway – Alaska
While locals may refer to this highway at North Slope Haul Road, many recognize it today as James W. Dalton Highway. This 414-mile route was built to supply materials needed in the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. As this mainly gravel road is one of the most isolated routes in the US, travelers are suggested to bring survival gear in case of any mishaps.
“The Highway of Death” – Brazil
Running the North-South directions of Brazil, BR-116 stands as the second-longest highway in the country. The 2,790-mile route, making its way through famous urban centers like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, is nicknamed “The Highway of Death” due to various dangerous weather conditions and the threat of robbery.
Himalayan Road Network
Officially, the Himalayan Road Network is acknowledged as the Trans-Himalayan Multi-dimensional Connectivity Network. In 2019, Chinese President, Xi Jinping, enthusiastically announced that Nepal was transforming “from a landlocked to a land-linked country.” Still, the roads are tight, unpaved, and marked by crashed commuter buses and cars.
Guoliang Tunnel Road – China
In 1972, the Gioliang Tunnel was “carved” into a nearby mountain to allow the Guoliang village access to the outside world. Using hammers and chisels, thirteen villagers carved the .75 mile, 16-foot tall, 13-foot wide tunnel in about five years. The tunnel road can be deadly as no protection from falling or driving off the mountainside exist.
Taroko Gorge Road – Taiwan
Situated in one of Taiwan’s national parks, Taroko Gorge Road is beautiful… from a distance. As the road quickly ascends in altitude, the dangers of mountain driving are present. Swift and blind turns also cause safety concerns.
Pasubio – Italy
Located in Italy, the “Road of 52 Tunnels” (referred to as “Strada Delle 52 Gallerie” in Italian), was first constructed in 1917 for use during World War One. Amongst the 52 carved tunnels, travelers are dealt extreme darkness, sheer cliffside drops, narrow roadways, and overall difficult terrain.
Halsema Highway – Philippines
Halsema Highway is the second-highest altitude highway in the Philippines, being dethroned as the first in 2019. Interestingly, the highway is named after an American engineer who facilitated the construction of the 1920s foot trail. In the midst of the rainy season, the highway pavement will become slippery. Then, there’s also the real concern for landslides.
Skippers Canyon Road – New Zealand
Skippers Canyon Road follows the picturesque Skippers Canyon gorge for nearly 14 miles. The extremely narrow one lane road even voids rental car insurance because of its death-defying characteristics.
Fairy Meadows Way – Pakistan
Not much wider than a Jeep Wrangler, Fairy Meadows Way in Pakistan was built by locals. From pictures alone, one can understand the incessant dangers of this frightening road. Unpaved, loose gravel, lack of guardrails, the possibility of rock slides, and the reality of rain all contribute to the life-or-death facts of this Pakistan roadway.
Luxor-al-Hurghada Road – Egypt
Luxor-al-Hurghada Road connects Luxor, a historic and ancient city in southern Egypt with a recreational hub near the Red Sea in Hurghada. The road itself is paved and relatively taken care of but the real danger comes from terrorists and bandits hiding and waiting along the 188-mile road. These groups can be lethal. At night, drivers will keep their headlights off to avoid any attention. However, this choice also causes head-on collisions between unsuspecting drivers.
“Highway to Hell” – Alabama
Hauntingly littered with memorial crosses along the 353-mile Alabaman highway, the “Highway to Hell” is rather just US Highway 431. Still, 431 is deadly for several reasons. Speeding, almost instantaneous 4-2 lane merges, and poor visibility all contribute to making “Highway to Hell” the 4th most deadly road in the US.
A726 – Scotland
Grame Macklin, a St. Leonards Community Council chairman was quoted saying “I have been pushing for speed restrictions and safety measures with the council for years and it’s not been taken seriously… I’m not entirely shocked that this is the most dangerous road in Scotland and one of the worst in the world. It’s a race track.”
Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road – Greece
The Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road in Greece is a novice driver’s nightmare. The two-lane road is paved, yet narrow, but has not been treated well over the years. Road work has been virtually non-existent, leading to dozens of tire-damaging potholes. Then, with many ascending twists and turns, the lack of guardrails and road signs will surely scare any sane driver.
Sichuan-Tibet Highway – China
Over 3,400 miles in length and the longest national highway in China, Sichuan-Tibet Highway is rather known by locals as China National Highway 318. The highway runs from Shanghai to Zhangmu, a town on the Nepal-China border. As the route is incredibly long, drivers are faced with varying weather conditions, including the likes of avalanches, ice and snowstorms, and inescapable mud. Drivers may also be stuck in miles of traffic, leading to theft, robbery, and even kidnapping between drivers.
Arica to Iquique Road – Chile
Even in wide open and highly visible flat spaces, drivers on the road from Arica to Iquique feel as though they can let loose and put the metal to the pedal. And because of this flawed logic, many drivers are involved in high-speed accidents.
A44 – UK
A44 travels between Oxford and Aberystwyth, a city on the West coast of the UK. Security cameras are being considered to keep an eye on the most dangerous portions of the route. Speeding, specifically relating to front-end crashes, are the biggest threat to human life on this road.
Stelvio Pass Road – Italy
Located in northern Italy, Stelvio Pass Road borders Switzerland in the Eastern Alps, about 9,000-feet above sea level. In 15 miles, drivers should expect 48 “hairpin” turns, some with 180-degree corners. With low concrete barriers barely protecting over-confident drivers, any wrong move can end in disaster… at the bottom of the mountain.
Trans-Siberian Highway – Russia
Spanning the width of Russia, the Trans-Siberian Highway is actually a network of Russian highways. Covering 6,800 miles, the T-S Highway traverses several environments, ranging from forests to desert. And up until 2015, this huge network was not fully paved.
Highway 1 – Mexico
Highway 1 in Mexico runs the length of the Baja California Peninsula. The mainly two-lane highway travels from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas. Here, travelers should expect rocky and dirt-paved roads with dangerous turns near coasts with limited guardrails.
Cotopaxi Volcano Road – Ecuador
As a branch of the Pan-American highway, Cotopaxi Volcano Road takes drivers to the Cotopaxi Volcano National Park. As expected, loose gravel and rock roads will cause poor traction, notable potholes litter the 25-mile route, and questionable weather conditions can instantly alter the safety of a drive.
Stretching 19,000 miles, the Pan-American Highway travels throughout North and South America. In the North, the highway begins or ends in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and finishes in either Quelton, Chile or Ushuaia, Argentina. In 19,000, you best expect a little bit of every hazard when making this trip.
A682 – UK
Similar to other low-key English roads, A682 is also involved with hundreds of fatalities. No word on causes, but we’re positive speeding, driving while under the influence, and weather conditions all play their part.
The Barton Highway – Australia
Named in honor of Australia’s first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton, The Barton Highway is a small 32 mile route in New South Wales. The highway is one of the most dangerous and deadly roads in Australia due to immense congestion.
Trollstigen – Norway
With an incredibly steep incline of ten-degrees, the Trollstigen mountain road is popular with tourists. Nearly 2,500 cars take this route daily. Mountain cliffs and dangers exists throughout the typical two-hour journey. Interestingly, trucks over 40 feet long are unable to make the trip due to the sharp hairpin turns.
Nepal – Tibet – Bangladesh Road
Traveling between these three countries, atop the Himalayan mountains, drivers need to be aware of the unsecured gravel. If not, it might be a long way down. However, this is a famous route to reach Mount-Everest.
Russian-Georgian Military Mountain Roads
To be fair, portions of the Russian-Georgian Military Mountain Road is paved. But, portions left unpaved are continuously eroded due to harsh weather like snow and sleet. Potholes, mudslides (and buildup), snowstorms, and weak visibility make this military road a giant hassle.
Nairobi – Nakuru – Eldoret Highway, Kenya
Surprisingly, the African continent holds the title for most fatalities due to traffic in the world. The Nairobi to Nakuru, Kenya highway is a danger as drunk and irresponsible drivers maker their way between these two cities daily. Plus, livestock and unassuming locals cross the highway at will, further elevating the danger here.