Buckle Up! 8 of the World's Most Dangerous Roads
Here in the UK, we take for granted just how safe our roads are. For the vast majority, we can travel on our roads safe in the knowledge that we will not encounter anything out of the ordinary.
That's not to say we can drive without any due care or attention. But we should find ourselves lucky that we do not have to contend with roads like the ones listed below.
The roads below offer challenging journeys, full of extreme weather, landslides, 100 feet drops and avalanches to say the least.
So buckle up, and let's take a ride through 8 of the world's most dangerous roads that will challenge those most experienced drivers.
Nickname : Road of Fate or Death Road
Road length: 43 miles (69 kilometres)
The North Yungas Road leads from Bolivia's main city La Paz to Corocio, stretching 43 miles of terrifying terrain. The uneven dirt track sits alongside 1000m vertical drops and is especially tricky to navigate while passing oncoming vehicles.
The road was built by Paraguayan prisoners during the Chaco War in the 1930s, with many of them falling to their deaths during it's construction. Today, it's mainly Bolivians that risk the ultimate price to cross this stretch of road with 200 to 300 people dying each year.
Surprisingly, it's fame for being one of the world's most dangerous roads hasn't put people off visiting the track. Due to the continuous downhill stretch of 43 miles of dirt track, thousands of thrill-seeking mountain bikers take to the road each year. It is reported that a total of 18 cyclists have died since 1998.
Nickname : Rodovia da Morte (Highway of death)
Road length: 2725 miles (4385 kilometres)
Trucking is a huge part of the Brazilian economy, so it's no wonder the country has roads that spans 1000s of miles. With the country so dependent on its haulage industry, this has left their roads with a huge concentration of truckers.
The BR-116 runs practically parallel to the coastline and has some seriously dangerous sections. The São Paulo-Curitiba section is said to be the most dangerous part of the highway due to it's high proportion of truckers, tricky road terrain and unpredictable weather.
With overworked and tired truckers flying down the highway, accidents are a regular occurrence.
Bayburt of Yolu-D915
Nickname : D915
Road length: 65 miles (106 kilometres)
Regarded as one of the most challenging roads to navigate in the world, D915 boasts 65 miles of road, including 29 steep hairpin corners. Located in the Trabzon province, Turkey, the road starts and finishes with asphalt for easy driving, but the main bulk of the road is made up of loose gravel.
At its peak, the road reaches an elevation of 2035m above sea level. At some stages of the 65 mile road, it's so narrow that only one vehicle can pass at a time.
The hairpin corners are so tight that not all vehicles will be able to maneuver around each corner in one swift move.
Susceptible to heavy fog, snow and rain, bad weather can be a real deterrent to road users, but due to the location of the road itself, tourists still flock to tackle this spectacular road.
Alaska Route 11
Nickname : James W. Dalton Highway
Road length: 414 miles (666 kilometres)
The road signed as Alaska Route 11 is named after James Dalton, a lifelong Alaskan and engineer. James was tasked with supervising the construction of the highway. The road was initially built as a supply road to support the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System in 1974.
Regarded as one of the most isolated highways in North America, the Dalton Highway only passes through or beside three villages throughout its 414-mile stretch.
Unsurprisingly, it's trucks that dominates this huge stretch of road. Anything up to 150 trucks in the summer and 250 trucks in the winter tackle this beast, and carrying survival supplies is of huge importance to the drivers.
There is a single 240-mile stretch of the road where there is literally no services whatsoever. You will be totally isolated for 240 miles of road, and you can forget about phone signal too.
The Hāna Highway
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Road length: 64.4 miles (103.6 kilometres)
While this road is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it's stunning views and lush terrain should not be taken lightly. Located on the second largest Hawaiian Island, Maui, the 52 miles from Hāna to Kahului seeing you drive through over 600 hairpin turns and 54 one-lane bridges.
Caution is required at all times, with waterfalls, steep cliff tops and falling rocks a norm throughout the journey. Even though the trip from Hāna to Kahului may only be 52 miles, it will take around 3 hours to complete.
Due to the nature of its location, the Hāna Highway is a huge tourist attraction, with guidebooks often dedicating large portions to traversing the road. Most rental car dealers forbid you from driving their cars along this highway due to its dangerous reputation.
Road length: 0.75 miles (1.2 kilometres)
The Guoliang Tunnel is one of the most famous tunnel roads in the world. Located in the Taihang Mountains of the Henan Province, China, and built in 1977, the tunnel offers stunning scenic views.
Although the tunnel may give the local village some unwanted attention due to being a tourist attraction, it does give the village a good source of revenue.
The tunnel was completed in 5 years, with many workers dying during construction. Before the tunnel, the only way up to village of Guoliang was via a set of very steep stairs, dubbed the "Sky Ladder".
Now the tunnel offers and easier way to get to the village, but caution is still highly advised, with a slippery surface, narrow sections and hundreds of feet drops.
National Highway 22
Nickname: NH 22
Road length: 285 miles (459 kilometres)
Although the National Highway 22 is regarded as a lifeline for the local people, it is still considered extremely dangerous. Starting in Ambala and finishing at Khab, the NH 22 has various dangerous sections, even for the most experienced drivers.
With regular avalanches, landslides and heavy snowfall, coupled with heavy traffic, poor bridges and even worse road surfaces, the NH 22 ticks all the boxes to be listed as one of the most dangerous roads in the world.
The main culprit to the road being so dangerous is its lack of maintenance.
Anfo Ridge Road
Road length: 12.4 miles (20 kilometres)
On a clear, sunny day, the view can be spectacular. Any other time, the Anfo Ridge Road is a dangerous, winding road which offers very little in protection from over a hundred feet drops.
The road was originally built in Roman times, but its volume of traffic was never much due to its general condition. The road offers concrete and gravel sections, and includes 4 short tunnels. The lack of any real barrier will make anyone feel uneasy.
The Anfo Ridge Road was once closed for a total of 6 years due to a landslide that was never cleared. The road opened up again in 2009 and in 2010, new tunnels were built to help bypass the narrowest of sections.