Driving can be a lot of fun for some people, but for others, it is a stressful experience. If you thought driving on a regular road was difficult enough, then you should check out the world’s scariest and most dangerous roads.
Driving on a normal road can be pretty dangerous thanks to the other people in their vehicles. It’s often a risk getting onto the highway because even though you can control your own car, you can’t stop people driving dangerously around you. That can be a worry for many drivers, and the busiest roads are often the most dangerous.
They all tend to look the same though and are generally pretty boring, but there are other dangerous roads that look as scary as they actually are. The world’s scariest and most dangerous roads strike fear into the hearts of everyone unfortunate enough to drive on them. They are treacherous, and if you aren’t focused the entire time you’re driving on them, you’re at real risk of crashing.
Given that many of these roads have sheer cliff faces on at least one side of the road, messing up is pretty much the last thing you’ll do on them. If you like taking your life into your own hands, then check out the world’s scariest and most dangerous roads.
Stelvio Pass Road – Italy
One of the biggest dangers for drivers on Stelvio Pass Road in Italy is getting distracted by the views. The road takes them through the picturesque Alps mountain range, and that typically means drivers are up high.
The narrow and twisting road can be challenging for some drivers, and the risk of falling off the side and down the mountain is high. Drivers need to keep their minds focused at all times, or they face plummeting to an early grave. The difficulty can often be ramped up due to the windy conditions many drivers face while on Stelvio Pass Road.
Trollstigen – Norway
The Scandinavian country of Norway gets pretty icy at times, and that can make driving on the roads next to impossible. Throw in the fact that Trollstigen is a winding road with plenty of switchbacks and you have got yourself one of the scariest roads to drive on in the world.
If you’ve ever slid on some ice on a regular road, you’ll know the experience of losing control of your vehicle can be a daunting one. On Trollstigen, the 11 switchbacks and deep drops make this road terrifying, especially as there are estimated to be around 200 annual fatalities.
Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road – Greece
Steep roads can be tough for drivers due to the horizon often vanishing and nothing to stare at but the sky. The Greek road of Patiopoulo-Perdikaki is fearsome due to the fact there are no guard rails along the majority of it, meaning only the brave drive along it.
That would be okay on most roads, but Patiopoulo-Perdikaki has many potholes, loose gravel, no lights at night, and sheer drops down a cliffside. What makes matters even worse is that it’s actually super busy and on any given trip along it, you’ll come across cars, motorcycles, pedestrians, and even livestock.
Fairy Meadows Way – Pakistan
While driving through the mountains, one thing that reassures many drivers is the presence of barriers to prevent them falling over the edge. Even though we don’t always need them, knowing they are there can often settle many of our nerves.
Nanga Parbat Pass, otherwise known as ‘Fairy Meadows Way,’ is one of the most dangerous highways in Pakistan. Thanks to the unstable ground and high altitude, many drivers get into trouble on this stretch of road through the mountains. There is even a six-mile ascent on an uneven and unpaved road without a single barrier to stop you falling.
Pan-American Highway – Alaska to Chile
The Pan-American Highway is the longest in the world as it runs all the way from Alaska to Chile. This road stretches over 30,000 miles and passes through 10 countries, but it’s also one of the most dangerous
. The temperatures on this road can be extreme from hot to cold plus you’ll need to keep an eye out for livestock in the middle of the highway. In wet weather sections of this road that are impassable. Another thing drivers need to be aware of is the problem of cartels, particularly when making their way through Mexico and Central America.
Commonwealth Avenue – Philippines
Traffic is a real problem for most people, but the majority of the time, it is nothing more than a minor inconvenience to us. On Commonwealth Avenue in the Philippines traffic is more than annoying, it’s the cause of many fatalities each year.
Every year there are hundreds of cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles caught up in collisions. In fact, the Philippines is a particularly dangerous country to drive through no matter where you are. Annually there are estimated to be 6,941 people who lose their lives due to road-related accidents, and Commonwealth Avenue is perhaps the worst spot there.
Ruta 5 – Chile
Driving through the desert is never easy, and Ruta 5 in Chile is one of the most difficult desert drives in the world. Ruta 5 passes through the Atacama Desert, which is one of the driest places on Earth. Drivers face strong winds, extreme boredom, and a lack of gas stations along Ruta 5.
If the boredom doesn’t catch drivers out here, the ever-changing weather might. It has been known for a blinding fog to swoop in at times, making it impossible for drivers to see where they are going. Then they simply drive off the side of the road.
Killar to Pangi Road – India
Although the Killar to Pangi Road in India is one of the world’s most dangerous, driving along it is on many people’s bucket lists. The road stretches over 70 miles and is only for people with nerves of steel.
Killar to Pangi Road is only open during the summer months because it’s so treacherous, and even then it’s still super dangerous. Drivers face sliding mud on the road, not to mention a severe lack of guardrails to stop them from tumbling over the cliff edge. The road is also isolating s if you get into trouble you’re on your own.
Guoliang Tunnel Road – China
What could be safer than a home-made road by villagers who didn’t necessarily have the right skills for the job? The Chinese government didn’t want to build this road themselves, so it was up to the people to create the Guoliang Tunnel Road themselves.
The road is located in the Taihang Mountains, and the villagers used explosives to forge this road into the cliffs. That has resulted in one of the world’s most dangerous roads. When it rains, drivers have to beware of rocks falling on top of them and contend with extreme fog, mud, and a lack of guardrails.
99-Bend Road to Heaven – China
Although it has a great name, you wouldn’t really want to find yourself on the 99-Bend Road to Heaven if you are a driver. There are a ton of tight corners that can result in a fatal accident if you take them too quickly or get distracted by the scenery around you.
This dangerous road is found in Tianmen Mountain National Park in China, and there are actually 99 turns that will all test your driving ability. The main things drivers have to fear from this road are the sheer drops alongside the very sharp corners, especially in bad weather.
Bruce Highway – Australia
Long boring roads can be a real problem for drivers. Trying to keep your concentration levels up on the 1,500 km Bruce Highway is a problem for many drivers and the road accounts for 17% of Australian driving fatalities.
The biggest danger to people is the dangerous and illegal overtaking maneuvers that many of the drivers on Bruce Highway perform. You can be driving along without seeing anybody for what feels like hours then before you know it someone’s on your outside. Drivers are lulled into a false sense of security, and that’s what ends up causing the collisions.
A683 – England, UK
When you look at the A683, it doesn’t seem like it should be dangerous at all. It looks pretty normal, but the safety on the road is notoriously bad for the people who live in the area. There are higher than average road fatalities on this stretch of road through the United Kingdom.
In just the last few years alone there have been hundreds of people losing their lives because of this road. It can be especially dangerous in the dark as the road makes its way through the English countryside without many lights to guide drivers along the way.
Passage Du Gois – France
Passage Du Gois in France is one of the most temperamental roads found anywhere in the world. The problem really comes from the fact that it is so close to the water that it inevitably floods and drivers can completely lose their bearings.
The road floods twice a day with the tide and if you time it wrong you can get stranded in no man’s land in your vehicle. Countless people and cars have been swept up by the water. Arrive at the wrong time, and you’ll have to wait it out or risk losing your car to the water.
Halsema Highway – Philippines
Not only is the Halsema Highway in the Philippines poorly managed, but there are stretches of the twisty road that aren’t even level. Instead, they seem to tilt toward the cliff face below, and it’s not uncommon for a bus or two to roll over each year on the Halsema Highway.
The road cuts through the popular tourist destination of Sagada in the Philippines, which brings many people to the Halsema Highway. It is poorly maintained and is prone to suffering from landslides which all add up to make this an extremely scary and dangerous road to find yourself on.
Karakoram Highway – Pakistan to China
Nature is the biggest danger to drivers along the Karakoram Highway, which leads from Pakistan through to China. The highway reaches heights of 15,000 feet above sea level, and the surface is very rough, making it almost impossible to travel safely.
Dangers for drivers include landslides, floods, falling rocks, and the steep cliffs that suck some people off the side of the road. The road cuts through one of the most dangerous mountain regions in the world, and having an emergency here is not ideal. Despite the dangers, Karakoram Highway is sometimes called the Eighth Wonder of the World.
Federal Highway 1 – Mexico
Federal Highway 1 in Mexico can be a troublesome route for many of the drivers who end up needing to take it. One of the biggest risks for drivers is a sheer drop from the side of the road, plummeting them all the way down into the sea below.
Of course, a road with dangerous pitfalls isn’t going to be straight, and the Federal Highway 1 is a winding route that feels unpredictable. Another serious problem for many people who have driven on Federal Highway 1 is the other drivers, who seem to take pleasure in performing dangerous overtaking maneuvers.
BR-116 – Brazil
Traffic accidents are all too common in Brazil, and there are more than 35,000 people who lose their lives on Brazilian roads each year. One particular stretch of road that is a common problem for Brazilian drivers is B-116.
This road is poorly maintained, which makes it very difficult to drive along without suffering some sort of damage to your vehicle. The worst part of driving on this road is when you stop. There are bandits and violent gangs based all along this long stretch of road who are willing to do whatever it takes to steal from you.
North Yungas Road – Bolivia
North Yungas Road is known as “The Road of Death” because so many people lost their lives there. The road connects La Paz and Coroico, but despite being a connection between the two communities, it’s not an easy passage.
It’s only wide enough for one vehicle at a time and taking a wrong turn could plunge you 3,000 feet below into the Amazon Rainforest. There are reportedly over 200 hairpin turns on the North Yungas Road, and almost 300 travelers lost their lives in one year. The road has finally been closed off to vehicles and a bypass built.
The Road of Bones – Russia
Traveling through Siberia can be a challenge at any time, but coming up against the ‘Road of Bones’ can be a challenge too far for some people. Siberia can be subjected to extreme weather, and that makes this road more treacherous than others in the region.
Drivers have to contend with unpaved roads, low visibility, mud, and ice. The ice is the trickiest part of this road as it’s essential for drivers, but only lasts from December through April. Many drivers have lost their lives by plunging into the icy water below as their vehicles accidentally broke through the ice.
Taroko Gorge Road – Taiwan
Although it’s a spectacle to be seen, the Taroko Gorge Road in Taiwan is not for the faint-hearted. Taroko Gorge Road has been carved through the mountains, but it comes with a fearsome reputation. The views are spectacular along the road, but a series of narrow and blind corners puts drivers in real danger.
There are a ton of vehicles on this narrow road that are all fighting for the same space, which can lead to people going over the edge. The condition of the road is also bad due to flooding, landslides, rocks falling, and earthquakes in the region.
A726 – Scotland, UK
Although the A726 in Scotland is just seven kilometers long, it is one of the most dangerous roads in the whole of the United Kingdom. The stretch of road is renowned for several fatal head-on collisions over the years, and the people most at danger on the A726 are pedestrians and cyclists.
The problem is that the road is particularly twisty, which means cars can be all over it at certain points, especially when driving too fast. There is the added problem of people entering and leaving the highway, which makes the A726 notoriously dangerous for people to be on.
Eyre Highway – Australia
Eyre Highway in Australia is long, and that’s always dangerous. The problem is that Eyre Highway doesn’t sound like it should be a dangerous road. It is very straight, it’s well maintained, and flat, so how can it be so dangerous to people?
At one stage the road stretches on for 90 miles in one direction, and that can be so painstakingly boring that people stop looking at the monotonous road. When they take their eyes off the road is the moment when they find the one other car on the same stretch of road and inevitably crash into it.
Luxor-al-Hurghada Road – Egypt
Although most places in the world don’t have to worry too much about bandits on the roads, in Egypt that’s not the case. Luxor-al-Hurghada Road in Egypt is notoriously bad for people getting stopped when they least expect it.
There is nothing dangerous about this road as far as terrain or environment are concerned, but you can easily lose your life on it regardless. Bandits are such a problem on the road that people actually would rather drive along it without their lights on at night than get stopped. People are choosing to drive blind to avoid detection from bandits.
Pasubio, The Road of 52 Tunnels – Italy
The Italian government has actually tried to shut this road down to protect local motorists from themselves. The Road of 52 Tunnels, otherwise known as Pasubio, is found in the mountains of Italy and it has some of the best views drivers will find on any road.
The issue is the views are much more interesting than this historic route through Italy, so people often spend more time looking around than forward. There are 52 hand-carved tunnels along this stretch of road, but it’s the terrible driving conditions that tend to cost people their lives on this route through Italy.
Skippers Canyon Road – New Zealand
This road is so scary that you will need to get a permit to drive it. It’s that scary and dangerous that only people who know what they are doing are allowed on Skippers Canyon Road in New Zealand. The road is very narrow which means you’re probably going to need to backup at some point.
There are few passing places, so you might end up having to back up for 3 km before you can go back in the right direction. New Zealand is a relatively safe place to drive, but Skippers Canyon Road puts that to the test.
Nairobi-Nakuru Highway – Kenya
This highway in Kenya sees people losing their lives on it every year. The Nakuru part of the highway, in particular, is very dangerous for people due to high levels of drink driving and high levels of speeding. There are plenty of failed overtaking attempts on this road too that add to the number of accidents reported every year.
Another danger on this road is the number of pedestrians who will wander into the way of traffic, which makes it dangerous not only for drivers, but people just walking. One year 320 people actually lost their lives on this highway.
Atlantic Road – Norway
It won’t take long on Atlantic Road to figure out why it has this name. The sea will introduce itself to you pretty quickly, making you question why you started driving on this Norwegian road, to begin with.
When the storms begin to pick up the curved portion of this road gets battered by the sea and wind, making it the one place on Earth you’d rather not be. The road is so hazardous for drivers, but it was the same when it was being built during the 1980s. Construction workers were hit by windstorms as they built this road.
Zoji La Pass – India
This road is so dangerous it has to be closed off during winter months because of snowfall. Even in good weather, people struggle to stay on the road and often plummet to their demise 11,000 feet below them. The Zoji La Pass in India is a narrow dirt track that has a clear lack of any protective guardrails.
Then there is the issue of avalanches and landslides, which can often leave people stranded waiting for someone else to come along and rescue them. The road is believed to contribute to around 100,000 people losing their lives each year.
James Dalton Highway – Alaska
The James Dalton Highway that runs through Alaska is one of the world’s deadliest roads. There are so many things that can go wrong for travelers on this road it’s best to avoid it if it’s possible. The road is used a lot by truckers who can often come into trouble in the difficult terrain.
Around three-quarters of the road is not paved, which makes it incredibly tough for most vehicles to get through safely. There is poor visibility, steep climbs, extreme weather, danger of hitting wildlife, and the fear of isolation to worry about when tackling this scary road.
Sichuan-Tibet Highway – China
The Sichuan-Tibet Highway in China will test the driving skills of even the most experienced drivers. There are a ton of landslides, rockfalls, and avalanches here to contend with. All of that activity means that the terrain is next to impossible to negotiate, especially when you consider the number of switchbacks.
What’s even worse still is the fact that this highway drags on for a total of 1,330 miles of pure stress and pressure. Those who travel along the highway often succumb to travel sickness due to the twists, bumps, and altitude; contributing to many fatalities over the years.