Traveling by car is an absolute must these days. People love their cars and the independence that comes with driving around for work or pleasure. If the roads are safe, and most of the time and in most of the countries they are, and the driver is experienced, then the risk is almost nonexistent. Still, dangerous, risky roads do exist and some people have to use them because they don’t have a choice. Or because they like the adrenaline. Or because those roads go through some spectacular places and offer some of the most beautiful views. But, what is a dangerous road anyway? If you live in Europe, or the United States or Japan and you think that the highway is a death trap let me show you the top 10 most dangerous roads in the world. Maybe you would like to try them sometime for a change.
10. Trans-Sahara Highway
The Trans-Sahara highway is 4500 km long and 85% paved but the maintenance is deficient, and most of the road is in poor condition. The central section of the highway is really dangerous and little used and it requires special vehicles and training for survival in the harsh conditions of the central desert. Fuel and water are not available for much of the highway length and sand storms can block the road anytime.
9. Patiopoulo – Perdikaki Road
This is more a gravel riddled dirt track than a road but buses, cars, trucks and livestock are traveling through here every day and night. The road links the towns of Patiopoulo and Perdikaki in the Agrafa region of Greece. It’s steep and narrow, busy and full of huge potholes, there are no barriers or markings and the loose gravel makes it impossible to stop before plummeting to death on one side or the other of this so called road.
8. Luxor-al-Hurghada Road
This road links the old city of Luxor and Hurghada a scuba diving hub on the Red Sea. It is paved and seems safe but the truth is that terrorists and bandits roam the region at will be attacking tourists and travelers. That’s why the majority of drivers on this road don’t use any kind of light at night. The risk of being attacked by bandits is too high so they drive fast and in total darkness. In 1997, terrorists killed 62 German tourists in Luxor.
7. Cotopaxi Volcan, Ecuador
The Cotopaxi Volcan road is 25 miles long. It’s a treacherous dirt road that connects the Pan American Highway with Cotopaxi Volcan National Park. Full of potholes, it runs through a stream that can produce flash floods when it’s raining.
6. Coastal Roads, Croatia
The Adriatic Coastal Roads are narrow and twisty, they lack markings, side rails and lay bys. The crazy Croats speeding through the area are particularly dangerous for the unaccustomed tourists that just want to admire the stunning view. Speeding, congestion, blind corners and sharp bends that cling to the cliff, lack of barriers make this the 6th most dangerous road in the world.
5. The Zoji La Pass, India
This Zoji Pass is a dusty narrow pathway in the western Himalayas. The vicious winds, the heavy snow, the lack of barriers and the high altitude (3,528m) make this road especially dangerous.
4. Karakoram Highway, Pakistan
This road links China and Pakistan through the Khunkerab Pass at the altitude of 4,693 m. It’s a really dangerous place, always prone to landslides and floods and is unpaved in Pakistan. The government named it The Friendship Highway and a lot tourists like to come here for the view.
3. Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China
The 2,413 km highway starts in Chengdu, Sichuan, China and ends in Lhasa, Tibet. The road traverses 14 high mountains which average 4,000-5,000m, crosses deep forests and dangerous rivers. Landslides and rock avalanches are common but the scenery is magnificent and the climate changes along the way. A car trip along this way may take 8-10 days.
2. The Death Road, Bolivia
The North Yungas Road streches between La Paz and Coroico on a 70km length. It drops from La Cumbre, above the Bolivian capital La Paz at 4900m to Coroico 3000m below. On average, 26 vehicles plummet over the edge into the 800m abyss and 200-300 travelers get killed on this road every year. Today this is the second most dangerous road on the planet after the one from Jalalabad to Kabul in Afghanistan. This happens not so much because the road is impossible to drive on but mostly because of drunken crazy Bolivian drivers and adrenalin-seeking, inexperienced tourists that descend the mountain speeding on bikes, cars and everything they can get their hands on.
1. The Road from Jalalabad to Kabul, Afghanistan
This highway is the most dangerous road in the world for so many reasons. One of them is that it goes 64 km deep into Taliban territory the an other is the mind blowing number of accidents that happen every day. One day 13 fatal accidents unfolded here in just two hours. The Afghan drivers are speeding in battered cars and only few of them have a driver’s license. Cars flip and flatten, buses collide on this deteriorated gravel road that runs along 600 meter- high cliffs.