We’d like to think that any road we drive on is safe and gets us to our desired destination in one piece. However, that’s simply not always the case. It turns out that there are many roads around the world that simply aren’t fit for transportation. Ironically, a lot of these roads happen to have incredible views and are built in some of the most stunning landscapes in the world. Basically, the more beautiful the place is, the more dangerous it can be to get there. Here are some of the most dangerous roads on the planet and why you should stay away from them at all costs.
Kuandinsky Bridge, Siberia
There are many bridges in the world that qualify as roads, but Siberia’s Kuandinsky Bridge hardly does. Built out of wood and rusty metal, this lame excuse for a highway should have been closed off from the public decades ago.
Without guardrails or paving of any kind, the unceremonious fall into the ice is highly likely. Local sources have claimed that up until now, only 35 people have successfully crossed the bridge without damaging their vehicle or themselves.
Guoliang Tunnel Road, China
While China is a tourist haven full of exciting attractions, there are plenty of dangerous roads to avoid. One of the most devastating is the Guoliang Tunnel Road, which at its peak has a 2,000-foot drop.
With zero guardrails and a tendency to be covered in fog and often muddy surfaces, Guoliang is a recipe for a driving disaster. A group of villagers built the tunnel road within the Taihang Mountains and it’s not the only one in the area!
Skippers Canyon Road, New Zealand
Many Lord of the Rings fans will be well aware that many scenes from the films were shot in the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand. However, with every great vista that the islands have to offer, there seems to be a perilous road just around the corner.
Skippers Canyon Road is probably the most dangerous of them all. There are no guardrails, steep cliffs and it’s a truly challenging drive due to its narrowness.
Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway
On the one hand, it is safe to say that Norway’s Atlantic Ocean Road is one of the greatest engineering marvels of all time. Constructed back in the ’80s, this long and winding road connects over five miles worth of islands and starts from one part of mainland Norway and ends at another.
On the other hand, though, it’s clear to see why this would be considered dangerous. There are rocks, cliffs, and water at virtually every turn.
Tianmen Shan Big Gate Road, China
We’ve seen plenty of bendy roads in our time but this one possibly trumps them all! Built along the National Park of Tianmen Mountain, the Big Gate Road reaches a staggering 3,000 feet in no more the six miles.
While there are many daring tourists and locals alike who will try and drive to the very top, there are alternatives to this dangerous method. The cable car is actually the longest one on the planet.
James Dalton Highway, Alaska
Many yearn to travel to Alaska to take a look at its stunning landscapes and mountains, especially during the colder parts of the year. However, in order to reach many of the state’s key locations, you’ll probably need to drive down the James Dalton Highway.
Spanning a staggering 414 miles, this road is particularly dangerous due to its steepness and tendency to isolate drivers from virtually any form of help if they face some sort of accident.
Taroko Gorge Road, Taiwan
Taiwan’s most dangerous road is undoubtedly the Taroko Gorge Road. Infamous for its sharp turns and narrow bends, bikers and hikers alike still can’t help themselves from embarking on this death-defying mission. It’s not the longest route to worry about.
Nevertheless, its towering mountains and the extreme weather that often affects these parts are enough reasons to stay well clear. Specifically, typhoons tend to cause rockslides that often make sections of Taroko Gorge unusable. Sounds like fun!
Kahekili Highway, Hawaii
When you think of Hawaii, peaceful and sandy beaches are some of the first things that come to mind. However, this nation of islands has plenty of bendy roads that have a negative impact on tourists and locals alike.
The one-lane Kahekili Highway is riddled with tight bends and steep cliffs, which is not ideal for the many bike riders who use this road every year. Thankfully, the 20-mile-long road has been completely repaved in recent years.
Commonwealth Avenue, Philippines
Another road that has given the Philippines a reputation for being one of the most dangerous countries in the world to drive in is Commonwealth Avenue. Also known as “The Highway of Death,” Commonwealth isn’t dangerous in the way that many of the other roads are on this list.
Despite being at ground level and going in a fairly straight direction, Quezon City’s busiest road has numerous obstacles and 18 lanes, which cause about five traffic accidents each day.
Also referred to as “The Highway of Death,” Brazil’s BR-116 is a route that passes through a variety of mountain ranges, but at what cost? Stretching for literally thousands of miles, this treacherous road isn’t actually that dangerous in the way that others are on this list.
However, it has been poorly maintained over the years and is laden with opportunistic gangs and corrupt police that at seemingly every turn, are ready to exploit naive tourists who simply want to get from Point A to Point B.
Col de Turini, France
There are many bendy roads on this list, but the Col de Turini has plenty of other issues to its name. While it is famous for being used during the Rally of Monte Carlo, this means that plenty of accidents have happened in those tight bends.
Sure, it’s beautiful and offers drivers a stunning view of the landscape surrounding it. One thing’s for sure, it is imperative not to use the Col de Turini during poor weather conditions.
Gorges du Dades, Morocco
It shouldn’t come as too much of surprise that some of the world’s most dangerous roads are located in desert environments. In Morocco, for example, the Gorges du Dades is a winding road that, as you can see, is dangerous enough because of all of its twists and turns.
However, that’s not even the biggest threat that the road possesses. Gorges du Dades is renowned for the many Moroccan drivers who display reckless habits, which will give tourists a lot to think about.
Ruta 40, Argentina
It is no secret that Argentina is a big country. So if you are planning on seeing a lot of this South American gem, Ruta 40 is a necessary, albeit dangerous, way of doing this.
This national route stretches for 3,100 miles from La Quiaca, Jujuy in the northern part of the country to Santa Cruz’s Cabo Virgenes in the south. It’s definitely not the most dangerous road on this list, but until this day, there are still plenty of unpaved paths.
Karnali Highway, Nepal
One-lane roads are dangerous at the best of times. But as far as Karnali Highway is concerned, this one is right up there with the very worst.
With so many bumpy hills surrounding this treacherous road; drivers and passengers alike hold onto their hats for dear life every time they pass through Karnali. Not only is it built along the feet of Mount Everest, but the Nepalese authorities advise their locals not to drive on it once the sun sets.
Karakoram Highway, Pakistan/China
No list of dangerous roads is complete without the Karakoram Highway. Connecting Pakistan with China, 892 people lost their lives while working on this 800-mile-long road, and that was before it was even completed, 27 years after construction began.
When you take into consideration that Karakoram is surrounded by mountains, the highway is often affected by avalanches, landslides and extreme snow. If you are desperately trying to get from one country to the other, we’d recommend flying there instead.
Col du Chaussy, France
There is a chance that Col du Chaussy might be the most beautiful road on this list! Have no fear though, or should we say, do have fear – this is also an extremely dangerous road to boot!
With steep turns and lots of potential to fall from ridiculous heights, you’d have to be an extremely good bike rider to dare to complete this winding road. After a series of accidents, local authorities eventually got the road appropriately paved.
Cotopaxi Volcano Road, Ecuador
If you have to drive past an active volcano to get to and from work every day, then it’s probably time to think about moving elsewhere. Many Ecuadorians face the daunting task of taking the Cotopaxi Volcano Road, which, as the name suggests, takes drivers up along the explosive mountain.
Not only is there the constant fear of being covered in liquid hot lava at any given time, but there are tons of potholes that are bound to get you into some sort of accident.
Passage du Gois, France
France has some of the most beautiful and challenging roads for drivers of all levels, from the twisting turns of the French Alps to breathtaking scenes and chateaux’s of the Loire Valley. However, if there is one road we wouldn’t like to cross it would be the Passage du Gois.
The 4.125 km passageway leads to the island of Noirmoutier, and it is flooded by the high tides twice a day. As the road is actually underwater for many hours of the day, the authorities close the road to prevent drivers from getting stranded. If you do find yourself planning to use this route, make sure to pack a swimsuit and snorkel!
Stelvio Pass, Italy
Italy often draws the fine line between the beautiful and the crazy in virtually every aspect. This certainly applies to some of its roads, with the most notable example being the Stelvio Pass.
Located in the Italian Alps, this daunting pass was built to guide drivers from the top of the range to the bottom. However, this drive is anything but simple. Dangerous during the calmest of conditions, drivers are definitely advised not to use Stelvio when there are harsh winds or ice.
San Juan Skyway, Colorado
While the San Juan Skyway offers some truly stunning views and is one of the most picturesque parts of Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway, it also offers its fair share of dangers.
This windy road, surrounded by snow-filled mountains, has plenty of areas with no barriers, meaning that skidding off into a ditch has happened many times. If you turn just a little awkwardly, you could get into a serious accident. Drivers are advised to avoid San Juan at night.
Kolyma Highway & Lena Highway, Russia
There is a good reason why the following highways are known colloquially as “The Road of Bones.” Stretching nearly two thousand miles of icy, muddy Russian terrain, the Kolyma and Lena highways are Siberian traveling at its most perilous and treacherous.
Passing through one of the coldest regions on the planet, these roads have taken many lives over the years, with many driver’s vehicles falling through the thinnest ice surfaces. Drivers are advised to pass through during winter when the grounds and waters are completely frozen.
Strada Delle 52 Gallerie (Pasubio), Italy
Literally translating into the “road of 52 tunnels,” Strade Delle 52 Gallerie is a dangerous road to take, no matter what time of the year it is. Winding between the Porte del Pasubio and Bocchetta Campiglia, this dated road was constructed for military purposes during World War I.
These days, cyclists like to use it as something of a challenge, which it most certainly is. Driving isn’t recommended, especially since parts of the road forbid vehicles passing through completely.
Killar to Pangi Road via Kishtwar, India
It should come as no surprise that India’s Killar to Pangi Road via Kishtwar is only open during the summer. This road, laden with rocks and gravel, stretches for about 70 miles, with certain sections of the road being particularly dangerous due to a lack of guardrails and steep cliffs.
If a driver isn’t 100% careful, they could end up at the bottom of the mountain that the road was built on. Even watching videos of people driving along the road can be extremely uncomfortable.
Luxor-al-Hurghada Road, Egypt
While it might not have the same sort of security issues that other roads on this list have, Egypt’s Luxor-al-Hurghada road has been known to cause all sorts of damage to those who pass through it.
What makes this road uniquely dangerous are the opportunistic bandits that often prowl along the sides of the road at night, waiting to ambush drivers. As a result, many drivers drive along Luxor-al-Hurghada without headlights on, in order to pass through unnoticed.
While there might not be any clear sign of danger based on the photo alone, the A726 in Scotland is a highway that many have experienced accidents on. Over the years, many drivers have experienced head-on collisions due to the bendy nature of the road.
Some believe that the picturesque vistas of the Scottish countryside often distract drivers from keeping their eyes on the road. Due to how fast people drive on the A726, road safety advocate Graeme Macklin described the road as a “racetrack.”
Arica to Iquique Road (Ruta Nacional 5), Chile
While a lot of the Chile Highway 5 has been modernized and rebuilt for health and safety reasons, the part known as Ruta 5, from Arica and Iquique, is still extremely hazardous.
This two-lane paved road can often distract drivers due to the picturesque landscape. As a result, many drivers even tend to exceed the 62 mph speed limit, which can often lead to nasty road accidents. Don’t be surprised to see shells of crashed cars along the sides of this road.
Route 431 (Highway to Hell), Alabama
Colloquially referred to as the Highway to Hell, the Alabama section of Route 431 has faced a number of road accidents over the years. What makes this clear are the many memorials and roadside crosses that are located around this long north-south state highway.
They are there to remind other drivers of just how many people have tragically lost their lives on this treacherous road and as a warning that one should be extremely precautious while passing through.
Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China
As you probably guessed already, China is full of treacherous, dangerous, meandering roads. The Sichuan-Tibet Highway is right up there with its most perilous.
Seeing that it is often a host to avalanches and rockslides, drivers often have a high chance of facing some sort of tragic catastrophe. Despite being built back in the 50s, it is clear that the road needs some serious renovations. It is believed to have a record of 7,500 deaths per 100,000 users – a staggering statistic.
Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road, Greece
Spanning approximately 13 miles, the Patiopoulo-Perdikaki road in Greece is not an easy drive, to say the very least. Tourist guides frequently advise travelers not to take this dangerous, mountainous road, which is usually blocked off by herds of goats.
Seeing that the road can get extremely slippery when there is heavy rain, and not to mention the serious lack of guardrails, there is an extremely high chance of falling off the road. It is also full of potholes.
It might not look like the most dangerous road on this list, and it is not. However, there is no denying that the A683 in England is a highway full of perils and hazards, despite its seemingly innocuous layout.
Apparently, the amount of road traffic accidents and casualties on this road increase every single year, with the last couple of years seeing hundreds of fatalities. In general, there are many long-winding roads in Lancashire, England that pose all sorts of problems for drivers.
Zoji La Pass, India
While many like to take the scenic route while on their travels, it’s impossible to enjoy the surroundings when there are no guardrails to protect you from certain death. Zoji La Pass in India is a prime example of this idea.
Despite being shoddily built on the Himalayas, many locals use this road to commute to and from work. Let’s face it, when you have to use a road that is built on the largest mountain range in the world, you might want to think about relocating…
Halsema Highway, Philippines
Some countries simply have more driving dangers than others and the Philippines is a prime example. The Halsema Highway has developed a reputation for not being maintained particularly well.
Truth be told, it definitely requires plenty of maintenance, especially due to the many landslides that affect this part of the world. In order to get to the famous Sagada site, many are forced to use Halsema due to the limited ways to get there. One or two buses fall off the highway’s edges every year.
Highway 80, Iraq
Running from Kuwait City to Basra, there are good reasons why Iraq’s Highway 80 is famously known as the Highway of Death. It has been the stage for a number of military attacks on Iraqi tanks and trucks by the US.
During the heat of the 1991 conflict, it is believed that between 200 and 1000 people were killed. These days, a graveyard of vehicles lie on either side of the road. While it’s not particularly dangerous, Iraq is still reminded of the effects of its many wars over the last few decades.
Kabul-Jalalabad Highway, Afghanistan
At 89 miles long, the Kabul-Jalalabad Highway is one of the longest and most deceiving roads in all of Afghanistan. With rocky cliffs and piles of rubble at every turn, it should come as no surprise as to why this highway picks up a ton of traffic.
Guardrails are virtually non-existent and rock collapse has been known to happen. While it might not be that high up, a fall from one of the road’s treacherous edges is going to be difficult to come back from.
North Yungas Road, Bolivia
When it comes to dangerous roads, there is nowhere quite like Bolivia’s Yungas Road. This perilous route that’s just short of 50 miles long has a place in the hearts of many adrenaline junkies.
Since 1994, as many as 300 people per year have lost their lives while driving down “The Road of Death.” Despite recent efforts to make Yungas safe, this hasn’t stopped many buses and trucks from tumbling off its edges. The South Yungas is also an extremely dangerous road.
Fairy Meadows Road, Pakistan
While it might sound like a pleasant road to take a spin down on a beautiful spring day, make no mistake about it: Fairy Meadows Road doesn’t have that many meadows and zero fairies. Located near Nanga Parbat, this six-mile road is a not for casual travelers.
With that said, locals seem to handle the treacherous surroundings of Fairy Meadows Road pretty well. With virtually zero maintenance and no health and safety regulations, we advise against this one.