The Most Dangerous Roads In The World

Some of these look fun & others foolhardy, just don't tell your actuary.  We hope to check a few off the list. Enjoy.

(Note. While Bolivia is considered the most dangerous, the rest are in no particular order)

1.     The North Yungas Road, Bolivia (The Death Road)

Built by Paraguayan prisoners of war in the 1930s, the North Yungas Road, which locals call the “Road of Death,” snakes across roughly 40 miles of the Andes in northeastern Bolivia. In 1995, the Inter-American Development Bank named the La Paz to Coroico route “the world’s most dangerous road.” And for good reason. The unpaved road is bordered by 3,000-foot cliffs. More than 100 travelers die every year trekking the route’s hairpin curves.

2.     Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China

In China, the number of deaths caused by car accidents has nearly doubled in the past 20 years, climbing from 3.9 to 7.6 per 100,000 of the population between 1985 and 2005. During this time, the number of cars on the road increased ninefold, and the number of other vehicles, principally motorcycles, jumped by a factor of 54. Government statistics show nearly 82,000 road deaths--5.1 for every 10,000 motor vehicles--in China in 2006, according to the Xinhua News Agency. Ironically, the least populated regions had the highest overall death rates per 100 000 motor vehicles. The Sichuan-Tibet Highway, a high-elevation road between Chengdu and Tibet where landslides and rock avalanches are common, is undoubtedly part of the problem.

3.     Guoliang Tunnel Road (China)

The road in Taihang mountains was built by local villagers: it took five years to finish the 1,200 metre long tunnel which is about 5 meters high and 4 meters wide. Some of the villagers died in accidents during construction; undaunted, the others continued. On May 1, 1977, the tunnel was opened to traffic. It is located in the Taihang Mountains, in the Hunan Province of China.

4.     James Dalton Highway (Alaska)

The James Dalton Highway is a 414-mile gravel road. It heads straight north from the Livengood turnoff of the Elliott Highway, through arctic tundra to the farthest north reaches of Alaska. Alyeska built the 360-mile haul road, now known as the Dalton Highway, from the Yukon River to Prudhoe Bay, for $150 million to supply the oil facilities on the North Slope. The pipeline bridge across the 1,875 mile Yukon River is the only span across that river in Alaska. 

But this is not a road for the faint of heart, or those with a brand-newvehicle! It is still the main supply route for the Prudhoe Bay oilfields, and you will be sharing the road with large tractor-trailers. Windshields and headlights are easy targets of flying rocks. Most rental companies will not allow you to drive their cars on the Dalton. Trucks speeding along the slippery gravel track kick up thick clouds of dust or mud, reducing visibility to absolute zero; potholes take a heavy toll on cars and services, gas, and repairs are practically nonexistent. Don't even consider driving the Dalton unless you have 4-wheel drive, a CB radio, extra fuel, food, tires, and a trunk filled with supplies.

5.     Pan American Highway, Costa Rica
The Pan American Highway, a network of roads that stretches nearly 30,000 miles from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, in North America to the lower reaches of South America, is the world's longest "motorable road," according to Guinness World Records. Although only a small portion of the road runs through Costa Rica, that portion boasts some of the most dangerous miles. Called the Hill of Death, the stretch of the Pan-American Highway from San Isidro de El General to Cartago is a gauntlet of narrow curves, steep cliffs, flash floods and landslides.

6.     BR-116, Brazil
The second longest road in Brazil, BR-116, runs from Porto Alegre through Curatiba and Sao Paulo, all the way to Rio de Janeiro. The Curitiba-Sao Paulo section of the highway is nicknamed “Rodovia da Morte” (Highway of Death). The name fits. The road runs around--and even through--the edges of steep cliffs. The result: “accidents and road fatalities are distressingly common,” as one travel advisory puts it.

7.     Coastal Roads, Croatia
The good news for the droves of tourists pouring into the fishing villages and sea resorts that crowd Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast on the Adriatic Sea is that they don’t need to worry about land mines. The detritus of a decade of ethnic warfare that ended with the breakup of the former Yugoslavia is far from the narrow, congested and curvy roads along the coast, which brings us to the bad news. The coastal roads and the fast-driving Croats that crowd them probably account for more deaths and injuries than accidents associated with unexploded ordinance ever do.

8.     Cotopaxi Volcan, Ecuador
Traveling to Ecuador? Be careful, the roads are dangerous, and the most dangerous of them all is one many tourists unwittingly travel. Slightly south of capital city Quito, the Cotopaxi Volcan Road is a 25-mile span of treacherous dirt road that connects the Pan American Highway with Cotopaxi Volcan national park, which boasts the highest active volcano in Ecuador at 19,460 feet. The “road” is plastered with potholes and runs through a nightmarishly deceptive “stream” that puts the “flash” in flash floods when it rains. Add poorly maintained cars and poorly trained drivers, and you’ll appreciate the trials and tribulations of a drive in the jungle.

9.     Luxor-al-Hurghada Road, Egypt
The road that links the ancient city of Luxor in southern Egypt and Hurghada, the regional hub for several scuba diving resorts on the Red Sea, is a death trap. The vast majority of drivers never turn on their headlights after the sun goes down, setting the stage for the high accident fatality rate that has earned the road a spot on this list. Ironically, the only thing more dangerous than driving on the road at night with your headlights off is driving at night with them on. If the bandits don’t get you, the terrorists probably will. In 1997, terrorists shot and killed 62 German tourists in Luxor in a massacre that resulted in a massive government crackdown that endures today.

10.  A44, U.K.
The A44 runs from Oxford to Aberystwyth. The two-lane road has tallied enough accident fatalities and serious injuries in recent years to earn the ignominious honor of having government surveillance cameras installed to deter speeding and otherwise encourage cautious driving. And on a road where more than 25% of crashes on are head-on collisions, caution is well advised.

11.  Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road, Greece

Although the Ottoman Empire occupied Greece for 400 years, they never conquered a small mountainous region in central Greece called Agrafa. They had the military fire power and political will to do so. They simply didn’t have any way to get there. The roads were as dangerous in the steep, mountainous region then as they are now.

12.   Grand Trunk Road, India to Afghanistan

The Grand Trunk Road was built in the 16th century to connect the major cities of India with those of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It hasn’t changed much since then, but the world around it has. The road is chronically congested with ox carts, animals, bicycles and pedestrians and massive numbers of cars and buses.

13.  Ruta 5: Arica to Iquique Road (Chile)

The road from Arica to Iquique is renowned for being dangerous; you drive past very deep valleys and wind your way through, spotting ever so often tell-tale vehicle skeletons at the bottom. The few times you can see cars and buses passing by, they were doing so at such a speed that you may think they are either tempting fate very foolishly or perhaps they are just ghosts whizzing past. The mono-hued and isolated scenery is well capable of endowing you with the capacity to have such visions, so concentrating and avoiding the use of any form of hallucinatory substance is essential here.

14.  Siberian Road to Yakutsk (Russia)

The Russian Federal Highway connects Moscow to Yakutsk, where the coldest temperature ever recorded outside Antarctica was recorded. Yakutsk is also the largest city built on continuous permafrost. Most houses are built on concrete piles because of the frozen ground.

What does all this have to do with being one of the world's most dangerous roads? Well, during the winter, which is approximately ten months long, driving in and out of Yakutsk is subject to heavy snow, ice, and reduced visibility. However, winter road conditions are a picnic compared to trying to navigate the Russian Federal Highway on July and August. Though many Siberian residents will tell you the highway is not paved to keep the Germans out (a tired World War II era joke), the truth is because of the permafrost there is no asphalt, creating a mud induced traffic jam every time the summer rains swing Yakutsk's way. Near thousand car traffic jams are not unheard of and during these back ups and travelers might pass the time while stuck in Siberian traffic by looting, beating, and kidnapping other travelers. Siberian mud pirates.

15.   Trollstigen (Norway)

Trollstigen (The Troll Ladder) is a mountain road in Rauma, Norway, part of Norwegian National Road 63 connecting Åndalsnes in Rauma and Valldal in Norddal. A popular tourist attraction due to its steep incline of 9% and eleven hairpin bends up a steep mountain side, the road up is narrow with many sharp bends, and although it has been widened in recent years,vehicles over 12.4 meters long are prohibited from driving the road. At the top there is large parking place which allows visitors to leave their cars and walk for about ten minutes to a viewing balcony which overlooks the road with its bends and the Stigfossen waterfall. Stigfossen is a beautiful waterfall which falls 320 meters down the mountain side. 

16.   The A682 Road (England)

The A682 between junction 13 of the M65 and Long Preston is the worst road in England as it has claimed almost 100 fatalities over the last ten years. The 14 mile single lane A682 between junction 13 of the M65 near Nelson, Lancs, and Long Preston in North Yorkshire, had 22 seriousaccidents in the past three years - two of them fatal. Experts say it has an average of 0.5 deaths per 10 miles annually. It is a favorite for motorcyclists, especially early on a Sunday morning. 

17.   Stelvio Pass Road Trollstigen(Italy)

stelvio2 The highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps --and the second highest in the Alps, after the Col de l'Iseran (2770 m)--, the Stelvio Pass Road connects the Valtellina with the upper Adige valley and Merano. It is located in the Italian Alps, near Bormio and Sulden, 75 km from Bolzano, close to Swiss border. 

While it might not be as risky as other deadly routes, it's certainly breathtaking. The tour books advise that the toughest and most spectacular climbing is from the Prato side, Bormio side approach is more tame. With 48 hairpins, this road is regarded as one of the finest continuous hairpin routes in the Alps.

18.  Karakoram Highway, Pakistan to China

Karakoram Highway is the highest paved road on the planet connecting Pakistan with China. It’s a popular tourist route, with motorists stopping to view K2 and other stratosphere-scraping peaks from the pavement.

19. “Los Caracoles” Pass in Andes