Roads generally mean a safer way of travel, unless you are talking about some roads which test your nerve, speed and challenge you every minute you drive on them. So whether you are someone who just loves to read or get to know about things, or someone who has a passion for travelling and wants to experience the thrill of driving on the deadliest road stretches of the world, search no more! Because today, we bring to you the top 10 most dangerous road stretches in the world.
10. Sichuan Tibet Highway, China
Sichuan Tibet highway, which was earlier known as Kangding-Tibet highway, runs from Chengdu of Sichaun to Lhasa of Tibet and is 2,415 kilometers long. This highway traverses 14 high mountains(4000-5000 m), and rivers like Dadu River, Jinsha River, etc. This is a highway where landslides, rock avalanches etc are very common. What makes it so deadly is the fact that it makes 99 harrowing turns along a 38 kilometer stretch, before leading to a dangerous bridge. The weather makes it even more difficult as there is rain or snow throughout the year. This road has a record of more than 7,500 deaths for every 100,000 drivers.
9. Skippers Canyon Road, New Zealand
Skippers Canyon road, located in the south-west of New Zealand’s South Island, is an extremely scary stretch as it is made from a very narrow cut in the middle of a cliff, which makes it highly difficult to drive on. Loaded with sheer drops of several hundred meters, this 16.5 miles long road is bound to give you goosebumps! If you visit, be prepared for extremely narrow road( so narrow that if you face a vehicle from the opposite side, one of you might have to go back up to 3-4 km to pass each other), rocks, and sometimes poor weather. And, it’s the only road in New Zealand where the rental car insurance isn’t covered. Pretty scary, eh?
8. Jalalabad-Kabul Road, Afghanistan
Jalalabad- Kabul Road, which stretches between Kabul and Jalalabad is 65 km long and passes through the Taliban Territory. The two-lane Kabul Gorge highway runs along 600 metre-high cliffs, and this is the stretch where the most road accidents occur. The road is full of twists and turns and passes through some of the most extreme mountainous terrains, with some areas being closed due to construction sometimes. Cars flip, buses collide, trucks fall in the valleys, all these happen quite frequently. Due to extreme risk, the highway is closed during snowfall.
7. Guoliang Tunnel in the Taihang mountains, China
Guoliang tunnel is of the most famous tunnels of the world. It’s 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) long, 5 metres (16 ft) tall and 4 metres (13 ft) wide, located high in the Taihang Mountains of the Henan Province, China. This is one of those roads which require monk-like patience and attention, as even one little mistake could cost a huge lot. It was carved along the side of and through a mountain and was opened to travelers in 1977. The tunnel is pretty scary with 30 windows of various sizes and shapes and it has been dubbed as the road that does not tolerate any mistakes.
6. Karakoram Highway, Pakistan
Karakoram Highway connects Pakistan and China across the karakoram mountain range. It passes through the Khunjerab Pass at an elevation of 4/693 metres. It’s highly prone to landslides and moreover the road is unpaved, thereby making it even more dangerous. Bad weather like avalanches, or heavy snowfalls, can sometimes block certain parts of the road.
5. The Zoji Pass, India
Zoji Pass is a high mountain pass in India, located on Indian National Highway 1D between Srinagar and Leh and is situated at an elevation of 3,528 metres. This stretch is 9 km long and is an important link between Ladakh and Kashmir. It keeps the people of ladakh connected to the rest of the world. During and after a storm the road can’t be passed and can easily get muddy if it rains making it challenging to get through. High winds and heavy snowfall is very common here which makes this pass impassable for most part of the winter. The roads are narrow, the drops are steep and there’s no barrier between you and heaven. Travelling on this road requires extreme driver attention and a very very reliable set of wheels.
4. Los Caracoles Pass, Chile
Los Caracoles Pass, passes through Andreas Mountain between Argentina and Chile and is situated at an elevation of 3,176 metres. It is full of steep slopes and sharp turns with no security barriers. The route demands 100% of your concentration as it passes through some of the most remote areas of South America. And this coupled with snow makes way for accidents easily. If seen from air the roads look like the coil of a fridge. But, despite being one of the most challenging roads, this has a strong safety record.
3. Stelvio Pass, Italy
Stelvio Pass, located in the Ortler Alps in Italy between Stilfs in South Tyrol and Bormio in the province of Sondrio, is full of hairpin bends which makes it look like a child’s scribble in the alps. At an elevation of 2,757 m, it is one the highest mountain roads of Europe. It’s very steep inclines and narrow width makes travelling even more difficult, when speeding even a bit could lead to death.Although the view is spectacular, if proper care and safety measures are not taken, this road could easily lead you to oblivion.
2. Tongtian Highway, China
Tongtian Highway, located at the Tianmen Mountain National Park, in northwestern Hunan Province, China is a 11 km long stretch with the highest point at 1,300 m above sea level. To get there one needs to drive to Tongtian Avenue, which has 99 turns. This road offers a splendid view but people should take precautions such as paying attention to each and every turn, one look away from the road and you’re on your way fast down to the bottom.
1. North Yungas Road, Bolivia
The most dangerous road of all, also known as the Death Road, North Yungas Road is a 69 km stretch between La Paz and Coroico, in the Yungas region of Bolivia. At an elevation of 4,650 metres above the sea level, this road was legendary for its extreme danger. A narrow road which climbed jungle-clad mountains with drops up to 1000 m over the edge, fatalities were in hundreds as in-numerous vehicles went off the roads. Fortunately this does not happen now as a new highway has been constructed which directs most of the traffic away from this road.
Now you know where to go if you’re feeling a little adventurous!
Follow the safety precautions, get your hands on a reliable 4WD, and be prepared to see some of the most beautiful views!