The Most Nail-Biting Roads In The World

Most people drive because they have to, and they don’t really take much notice of the roads around them. After all, they’re all the same, right? Well, not quite…

Although there are some people in this world who love settling down for a long drive with some snacks by their side, an epic playlist plugged in, and their best friend sitting next to them, there are others who find driving a chore. It’s the kind of thing that we have to do to get from A to B, and it’s the kind of thing we have to do to avoid relying on public transport that is inevitably going to be busy, loud, and downright annoying.

Thankfully, most roads are pretty easy to traverse. With a few bends here and there, the most that everyday people have to do is avoid potholes and put their foot on the brake when they come across a stop sign. Of course, that doesn’t mean that all of them are quite as easy. There are some seriously dangerous and scary roads in this world, and we can safely say that we won’t be going anywhere near them…

Stelvio Pass Road (Italy)

If you’re planning a road trip through the Italian Alps, it’s up to you whether you want to avoid the Stelvio Pass Road completely, or if you want to try your luck and see whether you can be one of the few people who have conquered this winding road. While there’s no doubt about the fact that this drive will surround you with incredible views, it’s these views that prove to be the most dangerous thing about the Stelvio Pass Road.

It’s incredibly hard to drive up this mountain road because each new turn grants you with a new section of the landscape to enjoy. However, this is the kind of road that you don’t want to get distracted on, as this could leave you in a seriously sticky situation. To make matters worse, the Stelvio Pass Road is located in the middle of a valley, which means that it can get pretty windy…

Trollstigen (Norway)

You don’t get many roads that come with their own viewing platform, but that’s exactly what the winding road of Trollstigen has to offer. Countless tourists make their way to this viewing platform every single day to watch cars tackle the hairpin bends, but there’s one problem with that. To reach the viewing platform, these tourists actually have to successfully make their way up the road themselves!

The Trollstigen road is actually a part of the Norweigan County Road 63, and features an incline of 10% that proves to be pretty exciting for those who love to get in their car and drive the difficult roads of the world. However, they also have to try and make their way around the eleven hairpin switchbacks, and that’s no easy feat. It takes someone with a strong stomach to complete this route, because it’s a long way down if you make the wrong turn.

Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road (Greece)

While there’s no doubt about the fact that Greece is a beautiful country with some of the most scenic landscapes in the world, this scenic landscape can cause a few issues when you have a car in tow. There are countless dangerous roads in this country, but one of the most dangerous is the Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road.

This 17-mile piece of road can be found in Aetolia-Acarnania, and it’s not the kind of drive that a regular ol’ tourist would want to complete. Instead, it’s best to leave it to those who live in the area and know all of the different nooks and crannies that could potentially be fatal. One of the main reasons why this road is so dangerous is because there is no guard rail to the side of it. This means that one wrong move would see you falling down the cragged cliffside that’s covered in loose rocks and gravel.

Fairy Meadows Way (Pakistan)

While this road in Pakistan is officially called the Nanga Parbat Pass, it’s acquired a nickname over the years, and there’s no doubt about the fact that Fairy Meadows Way sounds pretty unassuming. In fact, it sounds lovely. What most people don’t realize, however, is the fact that this nickname is a complete paradox to what the road is really like.

Starting at around 3,300 meters above sea level and rising high into the mountains, it seems as though the altitude isn’t the only thing that hardened drivers have to worry about along the Fairy Meadows Way. The road is completely unmaintained, and that means that the road is barely a road at all. With no guard rail to help drivers stay clear of the edge, it’s an uneven journey that will definitely put some sweat on your brow.

Pan-American Highway (Alaska to Chile)

Not many roads can claim that they have a Guinness World Record to their name, but that’s exactly what the Pan-American Highway has to offer. That’s because it takes the title as the “longest motorable road” due to the fact that it’s a whopping 30,000 km in length. Of course, most people don’t travel the whole way from Alaska to Chile – unless they have some serious time on their hands – but people do make their way onto this highway for shorter journeys.

This giant highway features various intense and diverse climates, and someone driving along this road can go through dense jungles and barren deserts with just a few hundred kilometers between them, and that’s what makes it so dangerous. Much of the landscape is inhospitable, so breaking down here is not an option. It’s also important to remember that this highway is often used by criminal gangs.

Commonwealth Avenue (Philippines)

If you have ever driven in the Philippines, you’ll know that getting anywhere on time is virtually impossible. While every country in the world deals with traffic jams on a regular basis, it seems as though the Philippines suffers more than most. While many of the roads in this country have to cope with the high volume of cars and other vehicles that try to get from A to B – creating traffic that causes almost 7,000 fatalities every single year -there’s one road that’s much worse than others.

Commonwealth Avenue is a 12.4km highway that spans through Quezon City, and at its largest, spreads across a whopping 18 lanes! Due to the number of cars trying to make their way along this road, accidents are extremely common. As soon as an accident happens, the traffic grinds to a standstill and becomes even more dangerous.

Ruta 5 (Chile)

If you’re looking for a new road trip to add to your repertoire, you might want to give Ruta 5 in Chile a miss. While there’s no doubt about the fact that the views of the surrounding desert are beautiful for the first few kilometers, the next 3,360 km will definitely prove to be pretty boring. However, intense boredom isn’t what makes this road so boring.

As Ruta 5 passes through the Atacama Desert, they are dealt with the knowledge that, not only are there no gas stations around, but there’s also nowhere to stock up on water or other refreshments. Considering this desert is one of the driest places that this planet has to offer, the prospect of breaking down is something you just don’t want to think about. As if that wasn’t enough, this road also gets pretty foggy…

Killar to Pangi Road (India)

India is home to some of the most dangerous roads in the world, and the Killar to Pangi Road is one of them. In fact, this road is so dangerous that the whole thing is completely shut off during the fall and winter months because it’s deemed too dangerous even for the thrill-seekers of the world. The road itself spans across 70 miles from Killar to Pangi, and many people who love dangerous drives make the pilgrimage to this road from all across the world.

Not only does this road not have a solid base to drive on, but it also features cragged and unstable mountains to one side and an intense and perilous drop to the other side. Couple that with the fact that there is no guard rail and no lighting, this makes for a seriously dangerous drive.

Guoliang Tunnel Road (China)

Although most of the roads in this world are designed and built by those who have built roads in the past and know what they’re doing, it’s safe to say that the Guoliang Tunnel Road in China isn’t one of those roads. Because the Chinese government refused to build this road in the Taihang Mountains, those in nearby villages decided to come together and try and create something sturdy themselves.

What happened next involved a whole load of explosives and makeshift materials, but they eventually created the Guoliang Tunnel Road that we know and are scared of today. As the name suggests, those willing to drive along this road have to have enough nerve to drive through tunnels that have been created using explosives, and they have to try and stay on the man-made path even though there’s a mammoth cliff face to their side.

99-Bend Road to Heaven (China)

When you think of China, you might think of Great Walls and bustling cities, but it seems as though this country also comes complete with countless roads that offer scenic views of the countryside and the mountains. The 99-Bend Road to Heaven can be found in the Tianmen Mountain National Park, and there’s no doubt about the fact that it’s absolutely beautiful.

The mountains are covered in luscious greenery, fog often sits in the valleys, and there are various roads that snake through this landscape. The 99-Bend Road to Heaven is one of them, and as you can probably tell by the name of it, this road features a whopping 99 bends – and they’re not your average bends. They are switchback bends that will have you venturing along hairpins, and this can make drivers pretty dizzy.

Bruce Highway (Australia)

It’s pretty amazing that this road in Australia is called the Bruce Highway, and we seriously hope that there’s another road called the Sheila Highway. The Bruce Highway is located in Queensland and spans around 1,600 km. While this certainly isn’t the longest road in the world, it’s definitely up there – and that’s where the danger lies. If you have ever driven on the same piece of boring road for a few hours, you’ll know that it can be incredibly easy to zone out of what you’re doing and lose concentration.

This happens a lot on the Bruce Highway, and this can cause them to drive off the side of the road and into the trees off the edge, or even veer into oncoming traffic. This road does get pretty busy, and even more accidents occur when people want to overtake other drivers who are going too slow.

A683 (England)

Although the roads in England don’t have cool or quirky names like roads in other countries, they are just as dangerous as some of the other treacherous roads across the globe. Located in Cumbria, this particular stretch of road runs from Lancaster to Kirby and spans around 24km. While it may just look like a beautiful and rural piece of road, the A683 has been the cause of countless crashes over the years – and many of them have been fatal.

With blind junctions, animals venturing alongside it, and a seemingly straight piece of road, it seems as though many people take their eyes off the ball and find themselves crashing. Much of the road is also surrounded on either side by solid stone walls, which means that the crashes are normally pretty intense.

Passage Du Gois (France)

Although mainland France is definitely full of some beautiful destinations, there are also many French islands that definitely need to be on your bucket list. However, you’ll have to time your road trip to the island of Noirmoutier carefully, because you may find yourself stranded. The Passage Du Gois is the road that takes visitors to the island, but this 4km passage isn’t always visible to the eye.

Because it’s located right by the water, this road actually floods twice a day, in keeping with high tide. Those who wish to venture across to the island need to make sure that they do not try and cross it on the cusp of high tide, because the water comes in extremely fast, and this can cause cars to get stuck and even sink to the bottom of the ocean.

Halsema Highway (Philippines)

Another road in the Philippines to add to this list is the Halsema Highway. Located in the midst of the imposing and menacing Cordillera Central mountain range, it should come as no surprise to learn that this is another highway situated high above the clouds. Those wishing to make their way along this 150km highway will not only have to deal with the high altitude and slight shortness of breath, but they will also have to deal with the fact that the construction of the Halsema Highway is less than ideal.

One of the main reasons for this is because the actual road often tilts towards the steep cliff faces below, and it can often feel as though your car is going to fall down. Couple that with the fact that the roads are winding and often prone to landslides, and you have a seriously dangerous road that’s not for the fainthearted.

Karakoram Highway (Pakistan to China)

Although most everyday people don’t have a road trip from Pakistan to China on their bucket list, there are some people who want to tick this off their list at some point in their lives. Of course, they might need to practice on some of the other dangerous roads that exist in the world first, because this one is a doozer. The Karakoram Highway spans across 1,300 km, and those traveling from Pakistan will eventually be able to see it join forces with the China National Highway 314.

While this road is often given the nickname of the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” it has also terrified many people who have driven on it before. That’s because the road is constructed in the middle of dangerous mountains, and the road can barely be called a road. The poor state of the surface just cannot be explained.

Federal Highway 1 (Mexico)

The roads in Mexico are often celebrated for their natural beauty, and while there’s no doubt about the fact that the Federal Highway 1 is surrounded by beautiful views, it’s also pretty dangerous. The 1,711km route takes drivers from Tijuana in Baja California to Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur. Of course, one of the greatest difficulties for those looking to traverse this road is the fact that it’s surrounded by high peaks and low valleys.

Landslides or one wrong move could potentially cause a fatal accident, and drivers need to ensure that they are focused on their journey at all times. Of course, that’s not the only concern. Many reckless drivers often make their way to this stretch of road to push their cars to the limit, and these speed demons can often cause accidents as they overtake other drivers.

BR-116 (Brazil)

Brazil has so much to offer those who live or travel there, but it seems as though most people know to avoid the BR-116 as much as they can. Of course, sometimes this cannot be avoided, but if you can find another route, that’s always going to work in your favor. This particular piece of road is both dangerous and scary for two different reasons. On the one hand, the long road snakes its way through the countryside in a wave-like fashion, and it can often be hard to see what’s in front or behind you.

As if that wasn’t enough, the road is in pretty poor condition, and many people often have to swerve out of the way of potholes or other debris to avoid causing serious damage to their car. On the other hand, there are dangers in terms of the people who linger around the BR-116. In fact, bandits love to scope out this area.

North Yungas Road (Bolivia)

While the North Yungas Road has since been replaced by a new, modern bypass just a bit further along the mountain, there’s no doubt about the fact that locals remember this road and the fatalities that have occurred here. This 60km long road is still used today by those who aren’t afraid to take the risk, as it offers a direct route from the city of La Paz to the Yungas region.

DIGITAL CAMERA

However, this single-track road is not easy to traverse, and that’s largely because there just isn’t enough space for two vehicles on the small piece of road – and there’s nowhere to move if you do catch someone coming the other way. One tire over the edge could see the vehicle tumbling down a 3,000-foot drop, and that’s before you have to deal with the 200 hairpin turns. Hundreds of people have lost their lives on this stretch of road.

The Road of Bones (Russia)

With a name like the Road of Bones, you probably don’t need us to tell you that this road is pretty dangerous. Officially called the R504 Kolyma Highway, this piece of road spans between Magadan with Nizhny Bestyakh, and it’s actually the only road in the area. However, the word “road” is a term used loosely when it comes to this stretch of land, as there is no flat surface beneath the vehicles that drive along it.

Carved largely from the earth underneath, this means that the Road of Bones suffers tremendously when adverse weather hits. When the rain pours, the road turns into a pathway of sludge that leaves many drivers and their cars stranded. As if that wasn’t enough, the road turns to ice during the winter months. This has caused many fatalities.

Taroko Gorge Road (Taiwan)

If you’ve always wanted to drive through the middle of a mountain, then the Taroko Gorge Road certainly ticks that box. However, anyone who wants to give this road a try should definitely proceed with caution. While the views from this road may be unlike anything you have ever seen before, the fact that the road has been carved into the mountains makes it extremely tricky.

With rocks all around you, tight tunnels, and blind corners to contend with, drivers find themselves struggling if they come across a car in the opposite direction. After all, one wrong move and your car could be tumbling down the side of the mountain. While there is a barrier to try and protect the cars on the road, these barriers can be pushed down instantly in the event of a landslide – which is pretty common in this area.

A726 (Scotland)

Scottish roads are known for being out in the sticks, and they are known for being surrounded by fields, peaks, and all kinds of animals. The A726 is a fairly busy road that connects Strathaven and Renfrewshire over the course of a 7km route, and while it may look unassuming, it’s actually one of the most dangerous roads that this world has to offer.

Although the road is simple in terms of the fake that it has two lanes of traffic going in opposite directions, it’s the windiness that really causes the problems. With many drivers wanting to overtake those in front of them, it’s sometimes impossible to see what’s coming around the corner, and this has caused countless head-on collisions. Alongside this, cyclists love making their way down this road, which means that there are even more potential hazards.

Eyre Highway (Australia)

We’ve seen some seriously twisty, treacherous, and poorly maintained roads on this list, but what makes Eyre Highway stand out from the crowd is the fact that it’s the complete opposite of those things. This highway links Western Australia and South Australia, and a huge amount of time and effort into making this road driveable. The road has been widened, it has been sealed properly, and it seems as though there isn’t a pothole in sight.

Part of this road is actually considered to be Australia’s longest straight road, but that’s exactly what makes it so dangerous. Because many drivers feel as though they don’t need to take too much notice of the road in front of them, this causes them to lose concentration, veer off the side of the road, or even into oncoming traffic.

Luxor-al-Hurghada Road (Egypt)

Looking at the Luxor-al-Hurghada Road in Egypt, you probably wouldn’t be able to guess what was so dangerous about it. After all, it’s a relatively well-maintained road, and it’s not too long or straight. So, what’s the issue? One of the main issues with this road is the fact that there are countless head-on collisions every single year.

This is not due to the road itself, but rather due to drivers who are refusing to put on their headlights as they make their way along this road. While this may seem strange, there is a reason for that. The Luxor-al-Hurghada Road in Egypt is considered to be the center of criminal activity in this area, and it’s not uncommon for bandits to stake out the road and capture those who take their fancy. People turn off their lights at night to avoid being detected.

Pasubio, The Road of 52 Tunnels (Italy)

You know that a road is bad if the country’s government has tried their hardest to get the whole thing shut down and closed off to the public. However, it seems as though people will continue to drive along this road whether they like it, as the rewards outweigh the danger if they manage to get to the other side unscathed. The Pasubio road in Italy is often called the “Road of 52 Tunnels,” and the reason behind this should be pretty obvious.

There are 52 hand-carved tunnels throughout this route, and they have all been carved out of the mountains to the side of it. While this offers drivers the chance to check out the most incredible views that the area has to offer, this is often where the danger lies. Being distracted while traveling along this poorly-maintained road is not something you want to risk.

Skippers Canyon Road (New Zealand)

New Zealand is home to some of the most scenic roads that the world has to offer, but there comes a point when these roads become a little too scenic. That’s certainly the case for the Skippers Canyon Road, a 26.5km stretch of road that snakes its way through the mountains.

This road was initially carved by miners almost 150 years ago, and it hasn’t really had any structural improvements since then – and it certainly hasn’t been made even bigger. What makes this road so scary is the fact that you are able to see the canyon just inches beside you when you drive this route, and that’s if you don’t meet another car coming in the opposite direction. If this happens, you might have to reverse around 3km back the way you came from to find a suitable passing point.

Nairobi-Nakuru Highway (Kenya)

While some of the roads in Kenya are dangerous because they are poorly made, one of the most dangerous roads in this country has actually become infamous for human error instead. The Nairobi-Nakuru Highway connects the capital city to smaller towns around the surrounding area, and it gets pretty busy. Regular traffic jams are not uncommon, but it’s people driving dangerously that really makes it treacherous.

The number of people driving under the influence or driving recklessly on this highway just cannot be fathomed, and this causes even more traffic and casualties. To make matters worse, many people simply walk across this highway and hope that the cars will stop in their tracks to make way for them. With traffic and high speeds to contend with, this sometimes doesn’t happen in time.

Atlantic Road (Norway)

You probably don’t need us to tell you why the Atlantic Road is called the Atlantic Road. This Norwegian stretch of concrete has the Atlantic Ocean by its side across the whole of its 8.3km stretch, and there’s no doubt about the fact that this can be pretty beautiful on a sunny day. However, the Atlantic Ocean is known for being pretty temperamental, and high winds and strong tides can cause giant waves to come crashing against the bridges and the road as a whole.

While the curved bridges allow some of these waves to slide underneath, that doesn’t mean that all of them do. This road often becomes sodden with seawater, and the strong forces of water can sometimes hit cars in the process. This makes for a pretty scary drive and one that should be undertaken with caution.

Zoji La Pass (India)

There are countless scary and dangerous roads in India, and it seems as though the Zoji La Pass is just another to add to the list. In fact, this road has to be closed to the public when the winter months come around, as the cold temperatures and the high snowfall make it almost impossible to reach the other side. Despite the fact that it’s open for the rest of the year, that doesn’t mean that the drive along the pass is easy.

Tumultuous weather can seriously impact the condition of the road and the driving conditions and high winds can cause many people to drive seriously close to the edge and the canyons 11,000-feet below. Without any guard rails or divide between the mountains and the road, landslides are also pretty common.

James Dalton Highway (Alaska)

If you’re familiar with the terrain of Alaska, you’ll know that it’s not only cragged and lacking a modern touch, but you’ll know that weather conditions can leave it feeling cold and covered in snow for much of the years. Because of this, those looking to drive along the James Dalton Highway have a really tough job on their hands. While most everyday drivers don’t have any need to drive along this haul road, truckers regularly have to make the 666km journey from the Elliot Highway to Deadhorse.

As the weather turns colder and the snow starts to fall, this mountainous road is covered in ice and snow – which isn’t easy to traverse. With huge loads and difficult terrain to contend with, truckers often find themselves struggling to make it to their end destination without sliding on the ice or to avoid the animals that run in front of them.

Sichuan-Tibet Highway (China)

Those who suffer from travel sickness may want to avoid the Sichuan-Tibet Highway at all costs because even those with the most hardened of stomachs have had to succumb to the twists and turns of this road. This high elevation road spans across a whopping 2,142km from Sichuan to Tibet, and while this route takes you through beautiful, open landscape, it also takes you across tiny dirt tracks on the side of mountains.

While much of this track is barren and inhospitable, there are other sections that are overgrown with fauna – and seeing where you need to drive is bad enough without having the weather to contend with. High rainfall can seriously affect the dirt tracks, and that’s before you even mention the regular occurrence of landslides that find some drivers stuck in the mud.

ADVERTISEMENT