Holidaymakers planning on getting behind the wheel during their summer travels have been urged to take care when driving on seven of the world’s most dangerous routes.
Motoring specialists from LeaseCar.uk have compiled a list of perilous roads that travellers and nervous drivers should probably steer clear of where possible.
For drivers travelling further afield this summer, thrill seekers might be considering roving these roads to take in the iconic history and surroundings.
But with their hazardous corners and sharp drops, these twisty routes could incite fear into even the most experienced of drivers.
Some routes mentioned are isolated and desolate, so it would be a good idea to carry survival supplies with you.
Others are simply so busy and chaotic, even the most experienced driver would struggle to navigate them safely.
If drivers must take one of the following roads, caution is a must – that means trying to travel during daylight hours in a well-prepared vehicle and maintaining a safe speed.
Tim Alcock of LeaseCar.uk said: “Driving on different sides of the road in an unfamiliar country can be tricky in itself, but especially so when it comes to these notorious and dangerous routes.
“No matter how long you have been driving and how much experience you have, the risk of injury or even death is tenfold, so you should try to avoid them where possible.
“If this isn’t a viable option, you should make sure your vehicle is safe and well equipped, and in some instances, we’d recommend carrying survival supplies with you.”
- Trans-Siberian Highway, Russia
The Trans-Siberian Highway can vary from well-surfaced motorway in the west to an unstable and tricky dirt track in the east. Conditions often deteriorate when heavy rains make sections of the road impossible to use, and extreme winter conditions almost fully destroy parts of the road each year.
The road is isolated and desolate, so it would be a good idea to carry survival supplies with you. If you get caught out here, it just might be the last mistake you’ll ever make.
- 99-Bend Road to Heaven, China
Located in Tianmen Mountain National Park in central China, the 99-Bend Road to Heaven features – you guessed it – 99 death-defying hairpin turns constructed hundreds of feet in the air.
It’s around 6.8 miles long with a maximum elevation of 3,855 feet metres, and in bad weather the road is incredibly treacherous.
3. ZojiLa Pass, India
The Zoji Pass is essentially a dirt road with no guardrails or traffic signs, snaking through the highest mountain range in the world – so landslides are a continual problem. Plus, the road zigzags among craggy peaks at over 11,000 feet at its highest elevation.
Mercifully, it’s only about 9 kilometres long, and it’s generally closed during the winter, when 50-foot snowdrifts make it impassable.
- North Yungas Road, Bolivia
The North Yungas Road in Bolivia, also known as the ‘Road of Death’, is said to be the most dangerous road in the world. With its narrow, uneven tracks, super steep mountains and sheer drops of up to 1,000m, it’s easy to see why!
Until 1994, nearly 300 travellers died on the road every year. Numerous makeshift memorials feature along the road where hapless travellers have plunged into the jungle ravines below.
- “Killer Highway”, Philippines
Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City in the Philippines has seen many pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular collisions and deaths over the years. This is usually attributed to the lack of regulations and law enforcement by local authorities – traffic and road safety rules are almost non-existent.
The road has no signs to guide the traffic and neither are Commonthere any designated lanes for motorcycles or bicycles. As such, almost 7,000 people die on the road annually.
- Road of 52 Tunnels, Italy
This incredibly dangerous road in Northern Italy is famous for its amazing vistas, but driving it can be challenging – so much so, that parts of it have restricted vehicular access.
A masterpiece of military engineering and boldness, the route was built as a military mule road during WWI and features 52 tunnels excavated from the rock.
- ‘Highway to Hell’, Alabama, USA
Route 431 through Alabama is a stretch of road through the state dotted with roadside crosses and other poignant reminders of just how many people have sadly lost their lives to this road.
The primary hazards on the highway are poor visibility, high speeds, and sudden 2-4 lane changes, all of which contribute to poor decision making and ultimately road fatalities. As such, the road was voted one of “America’s Deadliest Highways” by Readers Digest in 2000.