Dangerous roads are often associated with sharp turns and potholes. But for some drivers, the mere bumpy trail would be considered a driver’s paradise. From sheer mountainside pathways of peril to predator-infested crosses of treachery, buckle up and let us take you on the wild ride of some of the world’s most dangerous roads.
1. Cahills Crossing – Australia
Most associate Australia with modern cities and totally forget that huge chunks of the country are extremely wild and untamed. One of the best examples of this is Cahills Crossing, located in the country’s Northern Territory. While the road is safe for the most part, the game changes completely when you arrive at its most dangerous crossing.
Cahills Crossing is usually flooded over by the river’s high water flow and completely taken by a rushing tide. That’s the least of the horrors, though. Those waters are filled with hungry crocodiles. If you aren’t driving a bulky vehicle at the right time of year, you can easily be pushed off the road by the river’s strong current. At that point, it’s you against a horde of hungry crocs. To avoid becoming a feast, it is recommended to only cross Cahills Crossing when tides are low.
2. Ridi Road – Central Nepal
Drivers who are prone to car sickness are likely going to want to avoid Nepal’s Ridi Road at all cost. Not only does this dangerous road entail a lot of turning and swerving amid some dangerous drop offs, but drivers also have to fight off other surrounding distraction. Well within a driver’s eyeshot is the beautiful Kali Gandaki River which runs alongside most of the pass.
When driving the Ridi Road, being unfocused for even a second can be a fatal flaw. The narrow path is a stranger to guardrails and oncoming trucks and buses are a constant. The weather also plays a dangerous role. If the day isn’t sunny and serene, a driver can find themselves at risk of running into ice patches, landslides and even heavy snowfall.
3. Le Passage Du Gois – France
Le Passage Du Gois is a 2.58-mile road that connects the Gulf of Burnёf to the island of Noirmoutier. While it may look safe enough in the middle of the day, there is a dangerous aspect to this driven pathway due to a natural phenomena. The tide rises twice a day and completely submerges this road in up to 13 feet of water.
In recent decades, towers have been placed alongside the road. If one so happens to get stranded when the high tides come rushing in, they can swim to a nearby tower and wait to be rescued. While still a relatively risky drive today, Le Passage Du Gois has been around since the 16th century. As you can imagine, the road used to pose far greater dangers in the days when travel was mainly conducted by foot or horse.
4. Peruvian Andes Road – Peru
The roads which delve into the Peruvian Andes are nothing to take lightly. While they may be filled with beautiful photo opportunities for you Instagram, they’re also filled with opportunities to make the newspaper obituaries. The government has forked out scant cash into the building of safety fences for these narrow roads.
These roads are extremely narrow and only fit a single vehicle, making the biggest danger when a driver needs to squeeze by an oncoming bus or car. To assure that no one slides down the mountainside, the drivers must use teamwork and constant communication when passing each other. If the road is too narrow at that certain point, one driver might see themselves driving a few miles in reverse until the road broadens out.
5. Guoliang Tunnel Road – China
Located in China’s Taihang Mountains, the Guoliang Tunnel Road is named after the town of Guoliang. Before 1977, the small town was isolated from the world around it. The only way in and out was via narrow mountain stairway. However, in 1972, 13 villagers got together and sold their livestock for some hammers and chisels.
Over a five-year period, the team carved a nearly one-mile road into the side of a mountain. While it has become one of the country’s biggest tourist attractions, the amateur construction job still leaves a margin of chance for tragedy. The sharp turns and narrow pathway of Guoliang Tunnel Road require drivers to be extremely focused on what locals have called “the road that does not tolerate any mistakes.”
6. Kishtwar Road – India
India is no stranger to dangerous roads. Tucked away in the Jammu region’s Kishtwar District is 100 miles of narrow, fenceless danger that is better known as Kishtwar Road. Good weather is a must when taking on this terrifyingly high pass carved into the sheer mountainside above the Chenab river. Driving onto this road without first checking the local forecast is like playing a game of chance with your life as storms can make it too slippery and muddy even for four-wheel drive.
At certain points, the dangerous road full of blind spots gets so narrow that even without outcoming traffic, a single car can face the peril of sliding off the cliff side and falling a treacherous 2,000 feet below. To make matters even more unnerving, the surface of the road is greatly unkempt, consisting of gravel, sand and stone. Referred to by some tourists as the “Almost Killer” road, this winding pathway of fears is certainly not for the ameature driver.
7. Vitim River Bridge – Siberia, Russia
While the roads in Siberia are already nothing to carelessly speed through, the danger is turned up a few hundred notches when one approaches the Vitim River Bridge. Being only 1,870 feet long and 50 feet above the water of the Vitim River, the bridge seems like a fairly easy cross on paper. However, at six feet wide, it is barely even wide enough for a single vehicle. It also has zero railings, but that’s only half the danger.
The remnants of an old train bridge crossing from the Soviet era, the bridge is only held together by rotting wood planks. Speeding across the creaking bridge isn’t an option. One must drive across the unstable structure at a slow and steady pace. Your fears will only double when you realize how strong the current of the Vitim river is. It has the power to sweep you and your car away with ease.
8. Atlantic Road – Norway
While Norway’s Atlantic Road itself is beautifully constructed across a number of scenic islands, the elements can quickly turn this beautiful sightseeing drive into a brush with danger. The road was constructed in the late 1980s and is equipped with a smooth surface, guardrails and a sufficient amount of driving space.
Despite its intimidating loops and turns, this road lives up to modern standards. However, the weather conditions in Norway can make this road as dangerous as any makeshift road in the third world. Once windstorms start up and gigantic waves begin crashing into the highway, driving becomes a terrifying challenge. Motorists need to stay focused on the turns and loops all while giant waves crash into the structure.
9. Rohtang Pass – India
Located on the Pir Panjal Range in the Himalayas, Rohtang Pass in India is one of the most dangerous roads on Earth. Of all the dangers to be faced on this pass, landslides are the biggest threat. While most of the dangerous already on this list are made of dirt and brush, this road is shockingly made from asphalt, however, that does little to offset the danger.
The Rohtang Pass is located 13,054 feet above sea level and is faced with horrid weather conditions throughout most of the year. Due to a high amount of snow, the Rohtang Pass is closed for five months out of the year. Fully aware of the dangers the perilous road poses, the Indian government has begun constructing an alternative road that will eventually sway people from driving on the Rohtang Pass.
10. Seven Mile Bridge – Florida
Introduced to the public in 1982, Florida’s Seven Mile Bridge provides a smooth, long drive from the Middle Keys to the Lower Keys. However, Florida has some of the most unpredictable weather conditions in the country. That alone can make this bridge extremely dangerous.
Florida summers can be some of the harshest in the country. Being stranded on the Seven Mile Bridge amid that heat can lead to disaster. This was especially true in the pre-mobile phone days. Also, one has to keep in mind that the region is very prone to hurricanes. Being stuck on the bridge when a hurricane strikes means making it to the other side a treacherous journey.
11. Ancient Thera Road – Greece
Greece’s Ancient Thera Road can be both beautiful and deadly. While its danger levels don’t necessarily reach those of the most dangerous roads listed so far in South America or Asia, one still wouldn’t want to underestimate this windy mountainside road on the island of Santorini, especially when it comes to its unguarded 22 hairpin switchbacks.
A little focus and attention can make a trip down this road completely harmless. However, keeping your eyes on the road can be tough when you’re face to face with a beautiful sea view. Many accidents on the road come down to reckless driving and drivers not paying attention to the road. The road is closed from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. Before the regulations, night accidents were quite common.
12. Pilcomayo Canyon – Bolivia
While it doesn’t sport a nickname like ‘Road of Death,’ it is one of the most dangerous roads on the planet. It is a road that’ll put even the most confident driver’s courage to the test. Many cars have been lost on this dirt mountain path.
Seeing as most of the narrow road makes it impossible for two cars to pass each other, only experts at driving in reverse should attempt to rough it through Bolivia’s Pilcomayo Canyon. It isn’t just the neglected conditions of the road that’ll give drivers a hard time, but also the amount of fog that can settle on the road. When driving through Pilcomayo Canyon, one can’t afford to be careless.
13. La Rumorosa Highway – Mexico
While the La Rumorosa Highway in Baja California, Mexico is tame when compared to some of the most dangerous roads found in South America, it is still dangerous for unprepared drivers. This is especially true for visitors from North America who expect to find condition equal to roads found in America.
This two-lane mountain pass is alive with steep falls and random hairpins that can easily catch a novice driver off guard. However, it will make even the most seasoned driver feel uneasy with its steep drops in the road located an an elevation of 4,042 feet. To make matters even more nerve wrecking, the road isn’t exactly wide. This means that passing up slower trucks can be quite risky. Try to attempt to do so might leave you in a world of regret.
14. Zoji La Pass – India
To successfully get from one end of India’s Zoji La Pass to the other, motorists need two things: a reliable set of wheels and the ability to give complete and unencumbered attention to the road. The frightening path is snug up against some of the tallest mountains in the world in the western Himalayas. That’d be the last place to panic and lose focus.
One of Zoji La’s biggest fatal flaws is that sometimes the road doesn’t even look like road at all. Instead, it more closely resembles a small crumbling line in the dirt. As if that wasn’t bad enough, things get more dangerous in the rain, as the road turns into complete mush. The conditions can get so bad that even outdoor vehicles can struggle up the path. Luckily, vehicle flow is prohibited during the winter due to heavy snowfall.
15. Gotthard Pass – Switzerland
While elements of danger exists in the hairpin twists and turns and the steep fall that waits over the ledge of Gotthard Pass, the cobblestone road is set nearly 7,000 feet before a beautiful Swiss backdrop. Waiting on the top of the pass is the National Gotthard Museum where visitors can learn all about the rich history of the Alpine road.
Today, Gotthard Pass is a treasured location amid tourist and Instagram influencers. Visitors travel from far and wide to get a picture of themselves with the pass and the illustrious Switzerland wilderness in the background. Let’s hope that they drive carefully when going up there.
16. North Yungas Road – Bolivia
The world is jam packed with dangerous roads that’ll rattle your nerves with ease. But the North Yungas Road in Bolivia is widely considered the world’s most dangerous one. It has been fittingly nicknamed “the Road of Death” and it’s no mystery why. Anywhere between 200 and 300 people a year turn onto this road and never see the end of it.
One of the things that makes the nearly 50-mill route between La Paz and La Cumbre Pass so dangerous is the tropical weather brought about by the region. Drivers often find themselves cruising through heavy rains and thick fog. However, bad weather is nothing compared to how extremely narrow the road is. Squeezing by an oncoming car sends the danger levels soaring and it’s completely unavoidable when on the North Yungas Road.
17. Pass to Kondaveedu Fort – India
If one ventures as far out as the Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh, India, they’ll definitely need to check out the Kondaveedu Fort. The ancient hill fortress definitely brings to life a time in Indian history that is long gone. However, don’t think getting there comes without its challenges. You’ll need to travel up and then back down the precarious pass to Kondaveedu Fort.
The steep hairpin pass is a picturesque, but far from harmless. The thin road features 13 mind-bendingly sharp turns and one very steep incline. Given the massive tourist attraction at the top of the hill, the pass is often jam packed with vehicles going up and coming down. This will definitely leave for a nerve shattering drive.
18. South Sudanese Roads – Sudan
While South Sudan has its share of paved highways, some of the country’s major roads are still used in the form of dirt paths. While these roads aren’t perched up on high mountain tops, they still can pose a significant amount of danger. This is especially true during the country’s rainy season.
Once hit with rain, these dirt paths transform into muddy swamps that’ll render useless even the most equipped outdoor vehicles. Often times, one can only travel on them at about four miles an hour. But slow speeds still don’t stop deep ruts from trapping supply trucks and ambulances. When traveling these roads, motorists must also consider that roadside bandits are, according to the OSAC, relatively common.
19. Roads Outside Lae – Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea has one of the highest crime rates on the planet and the risk it poses definitely spills onto the country’s roads. However, crime will only be half the worry for the brave driver behind the wheel. In a country that’s the size of France, there are only three roads for use and each is worn by poverty and missing tarmac.
Like many dangerous, unpaved roads around the world, the rainy season also plays a significant role in hindering a driver’s experience as these already bumpy roads are reduced to muky swamps. Drivers can even find themselves crossing shallow rivers as well. This means a heavy-duty, off-road ready vehicle is ideal for traversing these badlands.
20. Trans-Siberian Highway – Russia
While the so-called Trans-Siberian Highway holds deep beauty, it is an unforgiving path that probably best traversed in a tough off-road vehicle with four-wheel drive. This is due to the highway’s vastness and how ill-maintained many of its stretches are. While some stretches mirror any paved, modern highway road, most of it is made of bumpy dirt paths that barely resemble paths at all.
To make matters worse, the paths can become unstable and slippery when rained upon. This means traveling down the highway can actually be safer during the freezing winter. However, during this time it’s still far from safe. The Trans-Siberian Highway is actually the unofficial name given to the network of thoroughfares that run the 6,800-mile width of Russia from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok. Still, we’d think it’s better than driving over frozen lakes and rivers as some do in parts of Siberia.
21. Passo Della Berga – Italy
The Passo Della Berga located in the Italian province of Brescia likely won’t fail in taking your breath away. The historic road has all the greenery and forested hills that one can ask for. However, it also has a dark side. Partially paved and partially gravel, the high mountain road flows alongside an unguarded ledge. Reckless driving can result in an up close and personal meetings with that lush greenery on the 5,000-feet of slopes below.
The road dates back to the days of the Ancient Romans and has spent a significant amount of time serving as a military road. Over dozens of generations, the Passo Della Berga has garnered quite a devastating reputation for all the accidents on its ridges. However, today’s laws and speed limits have reduced the number of accidents significantly.
22. Paso de los Libertadores – Argentina/Chile Border
Novice drivers should probably hop in the backseat when it comes to driving the Paso de los Libertadores. While it’s all sound and smooth driving on the Argentina side, things get dangerous when crossing into Chile. That’s when seemingly harmless highway turns into one of the most winding roads in the worlds.
The two lane road takes on the look of a serpent slithering down a mountainside. One will need to double their concentration while driving down this path, especially since it’s on a trade route. This means plenty of diesel trucks can be found on this unguarded pass. This is a road that will definitely put the nerves of motorists to the test.
23. Transfagarasan Road – Romania
Located between Transylvania and Wallachia is Romania’s Transfagarasan Road. Despite running through some of the country’s most stunning landscape, it has been deemed one of the most difficult roads to drive through. This definitely has something to do with the reported accident rate increasing with each and every passing year.
The Transfafarasan hits drivers with a deadly combination of a steep drops, sharp turns and tunnels. If one underestimates the European road and starts fiddling with the radio or checking text messages, their as good as done for. Despite, the road’s high accident count, droves of tourists flock to the site hoping to capture the roads beauty on camera.
24. Bundok Pulag – Philippines
The Philippines has no shortage of dangerous roads throughout the country. The Southeast Asian nation is home to Commonwealth Avenue, a.k.a. the “Killer Highway,” that expands up to a bustling 18 lanes. However, the road up the more than 8,000-foot Bundok Pulag mountain on Luzon Island has the face of recognized danger. If you aren’t an expert of driving on unpaved mountain roads, you might want to take a pass before heading on this nightmare.
The Bundok Pulag gives drivers a bumpy and rocky path to struggle through. To make things all the more nerve wracking, guardrails are nowhere to be found between the road and a steep fall. If you plan on testing your driving skills on this mountain road, make sure there is no rain in the forecast. Once the roads are drenched, driving is pretty much an impossibility.
25. Skyfall Road – Scotland
Skyfall Road recently gained fame being featured in the 2012 James Bond movie Skyfall. Despite the pastoral road’s extremely beautiful surroundings, narrow narrow width lends it as one of the world’s most dangerous places for drivers. It has a number of hairpins in the road and no shortage of blind spots.
The danger scale shoots up when this already twisting road turns into a mountainous path that leaves a driver with little room between an unguarded fall and the rough mountainside. That alone calls for drivers to remain completely focused. While many 007 fans may be tempted to take a drive on this scenic pass to Loch Etive, they should reconsider if they aren’t seasoned behind the wheel.
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