After the most complicated intersections in the world article, it is time for another featured article regarding this time the most dangerous roads in the world.
Being a driver is not the easiest task in the world and neither without risks. Not so much that handling a vehicle would be too difficult or would require higher capacities. Risks come mainly from the fact that the safety of each driver and each car passenger depends in a large extent, by the traffic partners or even hazard. The smoothest and safest roads in the world have, inevitably, stories stained with blood coming from dozens of accidents. However, there are some prolific cases – The “heavy” ones, some roads, highways, freeways, or mountainous routes whose passing through always comes with high risks and not infrequently ends tragically.
World’s most dangerous roads
Stelvio Pass, Italy
This mountain route is located in the Italian Alps at an altitude of about 2,700 meters (8,860 ft) above sea level and connects Valtellina to Merano. The road is difficult to be driven by car, especially because of the 48 hairpin bends, and the narrowing road in some places, matters worsened by the extreme inclination.
With a maximum altitude of 2,757 meters (9,045 ft), Stelvio is the highest paved pass in the Eastern Alps and the second in Alps, after the Col de Ilseran road, at 2,770 meters (9,088 ft).
Col de Turini, France
Col de Turini is a mountain pass in the Alps of southern France and is situated at an altitude of over 1,600 meters (5,250 ft) above sea level. It is part of a 32 kilometers (20 miles) long route from the World Rally Championship in Monte Carlo, the road combining 34 extremely difficult “hairpin” curves, but also straight road portions where the racing cars reach speeds of over 180 km/h (112 mph).
It is one of the most exciting, challenging and dangerous roads on Earth. At the highest point, Col de Turini reaches an altitude of 1607 meters (5,272 ft). To the north, the road starts with a dazzling series of 180 degrees curves. Towards the end, drivers cross a gorge, with a wild raging river on the left and an impressive rocky wall at the right.
Norwegian Fjords have many dangerous roads that attract tourists. The most notable of them is Trollstigen – a mountain road in Rauma, part of the Norwegian National Road 63 connecting Åndalsnes in Rauma and Valldal in Norddal – consisting of a series of routes that opens to breathtaking views of the few waterfalls. The word “Trollstigen” means ” Trolls’ Ladder.” The road, though not lacking in safety standards, requires a lot of concentration and a good grasp of the steering wheel.
The vertigo-inducing slopes, the abundant set of “hairpin” curves and the road narrowness leaves no room for errors. However, once travelers reached the top, the reward worth it, because the view offered is breathtaking. The narrow road offer vehicles extremely few possibilities to overcome. The frequent avalanches of rocks in the region have resulted in some improvements to the route in 2005.
Espinazo del Diablo, Mexico
Espinazo del Diablo or “The Devil’s Backbone” is a mountain pass in Durango, Mexico. Browse them safe car takes about five hours and was for a long time the only route from Durango to Mazatlan Sinaloa. Also, there are many travelers’ stories and warnings about crossing this dangerous road.
The road is exceptionally well maintained and there are many cautionary signs marking the most dangerous places. There are frequent specially arranged spots for stops, so travelers can pull over any time they want. There are some tight curves, so close that a truck needs all the two-lane way to turn. This sometimes hinders the traffic.
Leh-Manali Highway, India
Leh-Manali Highway is situated in India and spans over a total distance of over 475 kilometers (300 miles) through the haughty slopes of the Himalayas. The road crosses some of the highest mountain passes in the world, oscillating between altitudes of 2,000 and 3,000 meters (6,500 and 10,000 ft) above sea level.
The Leh-Manali Highway is one of the most complicated in the world, in a way that challenges the most drivers, with their arsenal of threats like the heavy snow and soil subsidence. Also, the terrain is difficult and perhaps even impossible to travel for something less than a powerful all-wheel drive car. This really dangerous road was built and is maintained by the Indian Armed Forces.
Guoliang Tunnel, China
The magnificent route through the Guoliang Tunnel, on the Taihang Mountains was built by 13 local villagers led by Shen Mingxin. Several villagers died during construction, but after five years, the work was complete. The tunnel was opened to traffic on May 1st, 1977.
The 1,200 meters (0.8 mile) long tunnel located in the Henan Province of China, has a height of five meters (16.4 ft) and a width of four (13.1 ft). Guoliang Tunnel is an appendix on the list of the most complicated and dangerous roads in the world. It is ranked as the road that does not tolerate any mistakes, most accidents in the tunnel are, however, due to travelers negligence. The Guoliang Tunnel it is an extremely fascinating route and is a key destination on all Chinese tourist itineraries.
Amur-Yakutsk Highway, Russia
The last thousand kilometers (600 miles) of the Russian Federal Highway between Moscow and the Siberian city of Yarkutsk is called M56 Lena Highway (“Hell’s Highway” how it’s named by the Russian drivers). The bizarre and dangerous route runs parallel to the Lena River just until Yarkutsk. As if the muddy road wouldn’t be a big problem anyway, Yarkutsk is considered one of the coldest cities in the world, the average measuring temperatures in January are -42 degrees Celsius (-43.6 Fahrenheit).
But surprisingly, only in summer the road becomes totally impassable. Every time it rains in summer, the route turns into a viscous swamp, which makes it a very difficult passage for vehicles and certainly impossible completion of the last thousand kilometers. Since this is the only road to the Siberian city, the traffic becomes crowded and heavy and driving – even more complicated than usual.
Los Caracoles Pass, Andes Mountains
This pretty dangerous road crosses the Andes Mountains on the route between Chile and Argentina. Los Caracoles consists of a series of sudden and deep curves in a highly inclined continuous slope. The road has a lot of ramps and hairpin curves, completely lacking any form of guardrail. In the largest part of the year the route is covered by snow. This, together with the complex nature of the road require a lot of patience and ambition from the drivers, being almost like a test of character.
The road is still regularly maintained and hasn’t got a rich morbid record. Trucks loaded with goods, and sightseeing buses with tourists daily pass through Los Caracoles and the experience, they say, is unforgettable.
Halsema Highway, Philippines
This road runs through the center of the Cordillera Valley in Philippines. It is also called the Baguio-Bontoc route. In its highest point it reaches 2,250 meters (7,400 ft) above sea level and a length of approximately 240 kilometers (150 miles) – mostly unpaved. The road winds through high cliffs lacking any guardrails and the majority safety devices. All these things make the road impassable during the rainy season.
Halsema Highway is famous for the rock and mud slides but also for the aggressive driving manner of the bus drivers even through its most narrow areas. Every year, a large number of injuries and overturned buses is recorded on this section. The road passes near some precipices often deeper than 300 meters (1,000 ft), with no road railings. It is surely one of the most dangerous road in the world.
The Death Road, Bolivia
We’ve saved it for the last: the North Yungas road, known as “El Camino de la Muerte” – or “Death Road” in Spanish – is a mountain route stretched over a distance of 70 kilometers (45 miles), crossing the Bolivian Andes Mountains and connects the city of La Paz, the administrative capital, and Coroico. Famous for the extreme and constant danger of collapse in hundreds or thousands of feet deep abyss of the trucks that cross it, the road was ranked in 1995 as the most dangerous road on Earth by the Inter-American Development Bank .
With only one-lane road, the inclination of the ground in some places and the lack of railings around this very dangerous road, turns it into an adventure of death. Moreover, frequent fog and rain reduce visibility on this slippery road, weakening the sides of the road. It is estimated that 200 to 300 travelers are killed per year on this route of horror. Although nowadays Yungas is used by fewer cars, a growing number of adrenaline seeker cyclists approach it constantly.