Getting behind the wheel and out on the open road can sometimes feel like a one way journey to relaxation – but there are some places around the world that you simply wouldn’t ever want to find yourself driving along on four wheels.
We take a look at some of the world’s most dangerous roads. Maybe walking doesn’t sound so bad after all.
The North Yungas road, Bolivia
Known simply as the “death road”, Bolivia’s North Yungas road goes straight in at the top of the world’s most dangerous pathways. This 40-mile stretch of narrow road is carved into cliff sides, meandering around tight bends with absolutely no barriers to protect drivers from their fate.
Stretching from La Paz to Coroico, the problems arise with oncoming traffic having nowhere to turn, often with deadly consequences.
Trans-Sahara Highway, Africa
Smack in the middle of the Sahara desert is exactly where you don’t want to experience a flat tyre – but the Trans-Sahara Highway is exactly the kind of road that may just give you one.
Although as much as 85% of the road is paved, most of the road is in pretty bad condition with plenty of potholes and bumps along the way. Couple this with temperatures rising up to 50°C and sandstorms so strong that the road is sometimes undriveable and you’ll soon see why this 2,800 mile stretch is considered one of the world’s most dangerous.
Arica to Iquique Road, Chile
Stretching along the coast of Chile from Arica to Iquique, this road is certainly considered a dangerous path to take. Littered with the skeletons of vehicles past, the road winds its way through dusty desert valleys and starkly isolated scenery with no one to help for miles.
The danger of this road is that with no surrounding civilisation, speeds easily rise and safety goes right out of the window.
Pan American Highway, North & South America
Snaking its way down the west coast of the Americas, the Pan American Highway stretches from Alaska and downwards through the USA until it reaches the very tip of South America.
Taking in ten countries along its route of 30,000 miles, the state of the road varies considerably. Contending with everything from landslides to high temperatures, rogue livestock to flooding, it’s no surprise that the world’s longest road is also one of its trickiest.
Trans-Siberian Highway, Russia
Another one of the world’s longest stretches of road, the condition of the Trans-Siberian Highway varies greatly depending on whereabouts you join it – some parts are in a well-paved, driveable condition while other areas are not much more than dirt tracks.
With severe winters and heavy rain adding to proceedings, it’s no wonder that Russia is rated as having one of the highest numbers of annual road deaths in the world.
Guoliang tunnel road, China
Built by local villagers over a long five-year stretch, the 1,200 metre long tunnel road in China’s Taihang Mountains claimed many lives before it was even opened to traffic.
Refusing to be daunted by the high number of deaths of those that built the road, it opened on May 1 1977. Winding through the middle of a mountain, the tunnel is about five metres high and a scarily slim four metres wide.
Known as the “troll ladder” in Norwegian, Trollstigen is a winding road carved deep into a steep mountainside in the depths of northern Norway. With a 9% incline and an impressive eleven hairpin bends, Trollstigen bans any vehicles over 12.4 metres long for their own safety.
If you’re brave enough to reach the top of the road, you’ll be rewarded with a viewing platform that looks down over Stigfossen waterfall, tumbling 320 metres down the mountainside.
Patiopoulo to Perdikaki road, Greece
Not much more than a rugged dirt track, the road that stretches from Patiopoulo to Perdikaki in Greece is often hailed as one of the world’s most dangerous.
ittered with pot holes and with no guard rails to protect from the sheer drop on either side, the road makes for a perilously dangerous drive – especially at night time when most of the accidents take place along this stretch of road.
Have you driven on any of these roads? Tell us in Comments below.