Bring Your Dental Records: The Most Dangerous Roads in the World
These Dangerous Roads Will Leave you Wondering Who the Hell Approved Construction in the First Place
Updated October 27, 2017
As we drive we may notice the occasional highway safety issue. But you’ll have no time for those thoughts as you drive these dangerous roads, with a proper death grip on the steering wheel.
There are many roads in this world that are breathtaking. Those listed here fall into a subcategory – roads that not only take your breath away but make your heart stop at the same time. Sheer cliff faces, thousand-foot drops, no guard rails, frequent rock slides, oncoming traffic on a one-lane road. These are the challenges faced by the drivers who, for one reason or another, need to drive over these “roads” on a regular basis. Think about that next time you spill your coffee by traversing a speed bump a little too quickly.
Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway
Built across a stretch of the Norwegian coast that’s open to the North Atlantic, the road is comprised of a series of bridges connecting a smattering of islands, for a total length of about six miles. In the summer, with blue skies and calm seas, the Atlantic Ocean Road is a tourists’ delight. In the winter, with gray skies and angry seas, keep both hands on the wheel and make certain all your windows are closed, as this stretch of highway can easily become one of the world’s most dangerous roads.
Skippers Canyon Road, New Zealand
Skippers Canyon Road, located on New Zealand’s South Island, was hand carved by miners over 140 years ago. The road was built during the gold rush, between 1883 and 1890, Skippers Road was considered a major engineering feat in its day. The road is so narrow that if two vehicles meet, one vehicle is required to reverse for up to a mile of winding narrow road to get to a place wide enough to pass.
Guoliang Tunnel Road, China
Lit by the headlights of passing cars, the Guoliang Tunnel cuts through the Taihang Mountains in the Hunan Province of China . Local villagers built this mountain road in 1972 to connect to the other parts of the country and it took 5 years to finish. This tunnel is almost a mile long, 16 feet tall and 13 feet wide and it has been dubbed “the road that does not tolerate mistakes”.
Taroko Gorge Road, Taiwan
The Taroko Gorge Road, officially the “Central Cross-Island Highway”, was the first road to bisect the center of Taiwan. It also passes through a National Park of extreme beauty. So while the 12-mile long road has been widened to accommodate two full lanes of traffic (barely) there are a number of tunnels that have not been widened. Throw in a mix of hikers, bicyclists, 50 inches of rain, three to four monsoon rains per year, plus fairly regular seismic activities and you’ve got a great recipe for one of the world’s most dangerous roads.
Karakoram Highway, Pakistan
Karakoram Highway links China and Pakistan through the Khunjerab Pass, at an altitude of 15,397 feet (higher than any mountain in the lower 48). The road is prone to frequent landslides and washouts and to make matters worse, the road is mostly rock, gravel, and dirt on the Pakistan side.
Abano Pass, Georgia
The Abano Pass is a high mountain pass located in the region of Tusheti, Georgia, in the central part of the Great Caucasus Mountains, at an elevation of 9,350 ft above the sea level, it’s the highest drivable mountain pass in the region. Due to high altitude and snowy winters, the pass is closed from mid-October through the end of June. While the road is only 50 miles long, locals count on a driving time of over 12 hours, making this very easily one of the most dangerous roads in the world.
Nanga Parbat Pass, Pakistan
Oddly, this treacherous strip of gravel is sometimes referred to as the “Fairy Meadows Road.” The reason is that it provides access to a beautiful camping area by that name. The road is carved into the 26,660 foot Nanga Parbat mountain in Pakistan. It’s barely wide enough for a small Jeep, so encountering an oncoming vehicle may require diplomatic skills. There’s not a single guardrail for the entire length of the unpaved road, and rocks slides are a constant problem on this dangerous road.
North Yungas Road, Bolivia
Declared by the Inter-American Development Bank as the most dangerous road in the world, and referred to by locals as “el Camino de Los Muertos”, the North Yungas Road runs from La Paz to Coroico, Bolivia. The largely single-lane (10′ – 15′ wide) road has no guardrails and drops of up to 2000 feet. It’s been estimated that between 200 and 300 travelers are killed along its distance each year.
Kabul to Jalalabad Road, Afghanistan
First, this road runs right through the middle of Afghanistan, so that alone should qualify it for this list. In addition, this 40-mile road between Kabul and Jalalabad has very few regulations and virtually no enforcement, so when traffic is not at a dead stop, drivers fly through the narrow, curvy pass as if scouts from Ferrari were recruiting new F1 talent. Impatience is usually the word of the day: aggravated drivers aggressively pass slow-moving trucks and often cause fatal accidents or even drive themselves off the side of a cliff.