The Most Dangerous Roads in the World
No matter how bad your daily commute is, it probably can't hold a candle to the danger presented by some of the most dangerous roads in the world. Twisting mountain paths full of danger, with no guardrails, rock slides, bizarre rules, and slick surfaces - these roads will test the skill and nerve of even the most experienced adventure seeker. Whether it's Bolivia's "Road of Death," a Taliban-controlled gravel path high in the mountains, or Alaska's road to nowhere, these dangerous and scary roads are full of breathtaking views and heart-stopping danger. These dangerous streets and highways are some of the worst roads in the world, so if you happen upon one on a trip you'd better reroute.
What is the world's most dangerous road? Is the scariest road in the world also the most deadly? These twisty paths and steep roads will have you gripping ten and two like your life depends on it... and it does. If you need to traverse one of these dangerous roads, both in America and all over the world, then make sure you have plenty of supplies, and certainly a AAA membership, not that they'll always be able to come get you.
Upvote the worst, windiest, scariest roads and highways on earth below and whatever you do, don't run out of gas on them.
- 11,615 VOTES
Kabul-to-Jalalabad, AfghanistanPhoto: Todd Huffman / Flickr / CC-BY 2.0
This is one of the most terrifying roads anywhere in the world – and for humanitarian reasons, one of the most important. It’s got terrible gridlock due to overloaded trucks getting stuck on it, steep vertical drops, sharp turns, and kamikaze drivers. Buses and trucks often slam into each other and tumble hundreds of feet into the valleys below, or cars simply plow into the rock walls.
The road has piled up such a high body count that locals have stopped keeping track of the death toll. Plus it’s deep within Taliban territory, and was routinely shelled in the '80s and '90s.
- 22,261 VOTES
Highway 101, MexicoPhoto: Elnogalense / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0
Highway 101 connects Matamoros (just south of Brownsville, TX) to Ciudad Victoria and beyond. It’s not inherently dangerous, as it’s well paved and fairly straight. But virtually nobody drives on it due to its use by Mexican drug cartels – and the fact that large numbers of corpses are often found along its sides.Cartel kidnappers are known to pull migrants off buses, cars are hijacked, towns terrorized, and multiple mass graves are found almost every year. The US government has warned residents not to use it.
- 31,385 VOTES
Yungas Road, BoliviaPhoto: GilCahana / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
Generally thought of as the most dangerous road in the world, the winding 40 mile road from La Paz to Coroico is mostly single lane, with massive ascents and quick descents. It has terrible visibility, no guard rails, and bizarre rules that force drivers to drive on the wrong side of the road (Bolivians drive on the right, except on the Yungas Road, where they keep to the left) and stop almost on a dime while going downhill. It's also prone to rock slides and bad weather that makes the gravel track slick and loose.Large vehicles routinely attempt to pass each other, and with lanes that narrow down to as small as three meters wide, this often ensures death for both parties. Despite being modernized over a two decade period, hundreds of people die on it every year, including numerous cyclists and foolhardy travelers. It’s not called the “Road of Death” for nothing.
- 41,216 VOTES
Zojila Pass, IndiaPhoto: Yogeshgupta26 / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
This winding mountain pass has it all: high altitude, high winds, mud, heavy snowfall, narrow lanes, steep drops, and no guardrails. The roads leading to the Himalaya Mountains are among the highest and deadliest anywhere, and Zojila is probably the harshest.
But in its favor, it’s the highest altitude at which tanks have operated in combat, during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.
- 51,440 VOTES
Karakoram HighwayPhoto: Shakeelgilgity / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Connecting China to Pakistan, the “Friendship Highway” is actually not friendly at all. It’s 16,000 feet in the air, meaning altitude sickness is a serious issue for anyone braving its sharp turns. It also has the usual landslides, avalanches, rock slides and unpaved lanes common to mountain highways. You’re basically driving a narrow lane with flat rock on one side and an unguarded drop on the other – plus it’s full of buses taking people to K2.
- 6886 VOTES
Way To Fairy Meadows, PakistanPhoto: Omar Usman Khan / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0
You’d think with a cheerful name like “Way to Fairy Meadows,” this road would be a non-stop carnival of fun and charm. It’s not.Fairy Meadows itself is a gorgeous runoff about 3,300 meters above sea level, but to get there, you have to traverse a glorified one-way gravel path that was built hundreds of years ago and hasn’t been upgraded or repaired since. It has sharp turns, steep dives, no guardrails and cars come out of nowhere from the other direction. Even watching YouTube videos of someone driving on it is hair-raising.