Most of us travel every single day, either by plane, boat, train, or vehicle, but no matter the transportation method, there is one constant that is always in play: the fact that we are using these methods to get from one place to another. The Earth is home to nearly 200 sovereign countries, all with their own unique culture and history, but no matter how unique a country is, there are certain things that it shares in common with its fellow nations. A perfect example of this is the fact that every country has its own roads, which can be used every day by regular people to possibly get from one end of their country to the other.
Roads have been around for roughly 6,000 years, and they have revolutionized the way we travel on land, as we use them to go to the store, school, or work, and they usually cut travel time significantly, as long as the traffic situation is not too bad. Most of the roads that we see are made using asphalt, but you can also find some that are made of stone, and in less developed or secluded areas, it is also common to find plain dirt roads. No matter what type of road it is, however, there are some that are just better than others, especially when it comes to safety because some roads are either poorly designed or located in areas that vehicles should simply avoid; and this article will identify 20 of these roads.
20 Stelvio Pass Road
We start things off by visiting Italy, a country that is known for creating a vast road network centuries ago during the time of the Roman Empire, but that does not mean that all their roads are perfect. Along the Swiss border in northern Italy, we have the Stelvio Pass Road, which has the distinct honor of being the highest paved mountain pass in the eastern half of the Alps. This road stretches for approximately 1.6 miles, and as you can tell, this winding adventure is capable of giving many motorists anxiety, especially once they realize that all these sharp turns take place on the side of an actual mountain.
19 Arica to Iquique Road
Most of the roads on this list are here because of some pretty obvious safety reasons, but there are also certain roads like, the Arica to Iquique, that are here mainly thanks to human error. This road stretches for roughly 2,090 miles, making it the longest in Chile, and if you were to ever travel on it, you will drive through a lot of flat land and dessert, but there are also a few steep drops and valleys that are not too problematic. The real issue here is the fact that it appears to be too safe, which is why many drivers have been caught not paying attention or speeding, which has led to many accidents.
18 James Dalton Highway
Alaska is home to less than a million people, making it one of the lowest populated states in the U.S., and it is known for being quite cold, in fact, it has some of the coldest roads on the planet. One of these roads is the James Dalton Highway, that stretches for about 414 miles, and it also happens to be one of the world's most isolated roads, which means that if you were to run into car trouble, you would literally be stranded in the middle of nowhere. This highway offers some amazing scenery, but it is riddled with potholes, and aside from dealing with ice and snow, motorists also have to contend with strong winds that send small rocks flying into windshields.
17 The Luxor-al-Hurghada Road
Egyptian history goes back more than 5,000 years, and like other ancient civilizations, they were able to become more advanced thanks to the construction of their road system, but that system did not include the current Luxor-al-Hurghada Road. This road connects the ancient city of Luxor to Hurghada, a prime tourist area, and it is known for having a lot of accidents, specifically at night, because motorists tend to drive on it without their headlights on. The reason for this is because the road is a frequent target for bandits at night, and the headlights alert them to the presence of vehicles.
16 The Way to Fairy Meadows
You will find Fairy Meadows National Park in the northern part of Pakistan, and if you were to ask anyone who has been there before, they will mention how beautiful the region is. In order to get to the park though, you will have to take The Way to Fairy Meadows, which is a nearly 10-mile-long, high mountain road made entirely out of gravel, and it happens to be poorly maintained. This road is extremely narrow, to the point that jeeps barely fit on it, and it has zero guardrails, which means that if you make one false move, you will end up plummeting off the side of a mountain
15 Sichuan-Tibet Highway
China is home to well over 1 billion people, so it is not surprising whatsoever that the country has a lot of roads, such as the Sichuan-Tibet Highway, which is approximately 1.330-miles-long. This highway winds quite a bit, which is a hazard in and of itself, but when you combine its design with the region's poor weather, you literally get a recipe for disaster. This highway is responsible for thousands of accidents every single year and that would be because the entire area has to deal with avalanches and rock slides on a fairly regular basis, and during the winter months, drivers also have to deal with icy conditions.
14 Skippers Canyon Road
New Zealand is a truly beautiful country, with rolling hills and gorgeous mountainous areas that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, and it is in one of these mountainous areas that we have Skippers Canyon Road. This gravel road is roughly 16.5-miles-long, and it currently rests on the side of a steep cliff, which gives it one of the best roadside views in the world. Unfortunately, this winding road is very narrow, to the point that you will get stuck if you run into a car coming from the opposite direction, but you only need to worry about this if you can actually get on the road, as only those with a special license can drive on it.
13 Halsema Highway
If you were to visit the Philippines, you may be surprised by how beautiful portions of the country are, especially the Sagada municipality located in the country's Mountain Province. In order to drive to and from Sagada however, you will need to use the Halsema Highway, which spans just over 93 miles, and its multiple turns would be fine if the highway was properly maintained. The real problem posed by this highway is the fact that it constantly has to deal with landslides from the mountains above, and if you drive through the cloud forest, your visibility will be impaired by mist.
12 The Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road
Greece is home to a civilization that predates the Roman Empire, and it has great weather, which is why it attracts so many tourists every year, but if you are to visit the country, it would be best to avoid the Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road. You can find this 17.9-mile-long road in the western part of the country, and it is considered to be one of the world's worst roads because of the fact that it runs through a mountain range. The entire road is paved with gravel, and large portions of it are very narrow and filled with potholes, which would be fine if it were not for the fact that it does not have a single guardrail, which is terrible since the road also gets very slippery when it rains.
11 Taroko Gorge Road
The sovereignty of Taiwan may still be an issue, but that does not mean that the state is not home to some amazing things, such as the Taroko Gorge Road, which is somewhat of an engineering marvel. The road itself passes through Taroko National Park, and it offers amazing views, which is why it attracts many onlookers every year, but it also happens to be one of Taiwan's most dangerous roads. For some reason, they made the road very narrow, which would have been fine if it did not also have multiple blind curves and sharp turns, many of which occur while driving through mountains and cliffs.
10 The Pasubio
With this entry, we find ourselves back in Italy with yet another mountain road, except Strada Delle 52 galleries, otherwise known as the Pasubio Road, is far more perilous than the aforementioned Stelvio Pass. This road was originally made to function as a military trail, which is why it was built in an area with deep canyons and sharp rock faces, so you can see why such a road would be dangerous. It is true that this road offers some amazing views, but it is so narrow that cars are not allowed to be used after a certain point, which is when people take out their bikes, which is still very risky because of the road's winding nature.
9 Guoliang Tunnel Road
You will find the Taihang Mountains in the northern part of China, but these mountains are also home to one of the world's most famous tunnels: the Guoliang Tunnel, which also happens to be quite dangerous. This tunnel was carved through a mountain in the early 1970s and is 0.75-miles-long, 13-feet-wide, and 16-feet-tall, and it is the only way to reach the small village of Guoliang. This tunnel can only support one-way traffic, with smaller cars only getting about 2 feet of extra space, which is why most of the accidents that take place on it are the result of traveler negligence.
8 The Himalayan Roads
Many of the Earth's tallest mountains can be found in the Himalayas, and every year, there are a lot of thrill seekers who attempt to climb them, and in order to get these people to the mountains, there needs to be some sort of road network. The Himalayan Road Network stretches throughout the mountain range, and it is infamous for its flimsy construction, and for it not being properly maintained. Large portions of the road network are unpaved and extremely narrow, and they have a tendency of being quite slippery, which is why you can find abandoned cars and buses that have been involved in accidents along the routes.
7 Commonwealth Avenue
When it comes to confusing roads most people will probably think of London, but none of their roads compare to Commonwealth Avenue, which can be found in Quezon City in the Philippines. Commonwealth Avenue is 7.7-miles-long, and it spans anywhere from 6 to 18 lanes, which sounds pretty absurd, especially when you take into account the fact that local traffic laws are barely enforced. The laws may not be properly enforced, but the laws themselves are pretty flimsy, which is why the road has to deal with hundreds of accidents every year, accidents that involve cars, cyclists, and pedestrians.
6 North Yungas Road
When you have to build a new highway in order to direct traffic away from a road, you know that it is very dangerous, and that is exactly what happened in Bolivia with the North Yungas Road. This road is considered to be the most dangerous road in the world, and for good reason too because the 43-mile dirt road is responsible for hundreds of terrible accidents every year. Trucks and buses used to frequent this road, which was fine until they had to pass another vehicle, because the road is just 10 feet wide, and it barely has any guardrails, which makes the vertical drops of up to 1,000 feet very hazardous.
5 A726, Scotland
The U.K. is known for having a very different driving style, as they are known for driving on the "wrong side of the road" by North American standards, and as it so happens, Scotland is still a part of the U.K. It is in Scotland that we have a road by the name of A726, and over the years it has garnered a reputation for being more like a racetrack than a road used by ordinary people. The road itself seems pretty normal, but for some reason, it is responsible for an absurd number of head-on collisions every year, and something like that cannot be pure coincidence.
4 Cotopaxi Volcano Road
Ecuador is home to nearly a dozen volcanoes, including Cotopaxi, which is still very much active, and the National Park that surrounds it happens to be home to a very hazardous road. The Cotopaxi Volcano Road branches off from the lengthy Pan-American Highway and leads straight to the volcano, which would be fine if the 25-mile-long dirt road did not have to contend with huge potholes and dangerously slippery slopes. The road also happens to run through several streams, which is why sections of it are prone to flash floods, which means that there is a possibility of your car being cut off during a volcanic eruption.
3 The Barton Highway
Australia can get insanely hot during the summer, and when you combine the heat with the fact that it is also home to several of the world's most venomous creatures, the Barton Highway does not seem all that bad. This highway stretches for 35 miles, and just like the Arica to Iquique Road in Chile, this road is known for being unsafe mainly because of motorists instead of the road itself. It may not be Australia's biggest highway, but it is often the most congested, which is why motorists swerve in and out of lanes recklessly, but they often speed and perform other dangerous maneuvers as well, which is why the highway deals with dozens of accidents every year.
2 Trans-Siberian Highway
Most countries have at least one highway that stretches from one end to the other, so it stands to reason that the bigger the country is, the bigger the highway would be, which is why the Trans-Siberian Highway is the second longest National Highway in the world. This highway is 6,800-miles-long, and as you can imagine, it is fairly difficult to properly maintain, which is why certain sections are more treacherous than others, especially in the eastern parts. Large portions of the highway are paved, but with relatively poor asphalt, while other sections become virtually impassable due to the severe winters and heavy rains that affect parts of the country.
1 Route 431
You can find the state of Alabama directly beneath Tennessee, and aside from sharing a border, both states also share a highway known as Route 431, which may be the most dangerous stretch of road in the entire country. The highway may have an official name, but it is also known as the "Highway to Hell", and that would be because the 353-mile-long highway is riddled with markers used to identify accidents that have occurred in the past. There are several factors that contribute to all these accidents, as people tend to speed while driving on it, which would be slightly acceptable if not for the fact that the highway suffers from poor visibility at times and very sudden lane changes.
References: interestingengineering.com, list25.com, dangerousroads.org