The most dangerous roads in the world

The most dangerous roads in the world

Moneybarn News // 29 June 2016

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In the UK we are blessed with great countryside and views – perfect for leisurely summer drives. Across the world though, there are many roads that are definitely not so leisurely. For all the daredevils and thrill seekers out there, we have put together a list of some of the most extreme and dangerous roads across the world.

North Yungas Road, Bolivia

This road in Bolivia, famously known as Death Road, is often claimed as the most dangerous road in the world. Since 2006, there has been a new road bypassing dangerous sections for the safety of drivers but before this was one of only a few routes around this area.

One car wide, no safety rails and 600-metre drops are all factors contributing to this roads infamous reputation. Before the new road was built, it was estimated that 300 people a year died on the road.

Nowadays it is used much less but has become a tourist attraction as many now use it as a downhill cycling track.

Skippers Canyon Road, New Zealand

New Zealand is a very scenic country and the Skipper Canyon is a great example of that. A very narrow, gravel road accesses incredible views of the gorge. Fortunately there have been very few deaths on this road, but its steep drops to the gorge below make it a scary drive for most.

To drive along this incredibly narrow, winding track, you actually need a special permit. Still thinking about it? Be prepared for the challenge of a lifetime, and pray you don’t run into someone coming from the other direction.

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James Dalton Highway, Alaska

Unlike the other roads on our list, which have gorges or hundred foot-drops each side, this road seems relatively peaceful. Easy even. But do not let that fool you, the James Dalton Highway is on this list for a reason.

The James Dalton Highway is a 414 mile road through Alaska that starts at the Elliott Highway – just north of Fairbanks – and finishes at Deadhorse, close to the Prudhoe Bay oil fields. It runs through the middle of nowhere, meaning any breakdown or issue can be deadly, as well as being riddled with potholes and at risk from flying rocks carried by fast winds. There’s no petrol stations and temperatures can plummet to well below freezing.

Karakoram Highway, Pakistan

The Karakoram Highway was rather originally named “Friendship Highway” by the governments who built it. Connecting both China and Pakistan through the Karakoram mountain range, it is the highest paved international road in the world.

The Karakoram Highway runs through the Khunjerab Pass, at an elevation of 4,693m above sea level. Whilst it is prone to landslides and flooding, it is still an immensely popular tourist attraction, due to the fact it follows the Old Silk Road through some spectacular scenery.

Guoliang Tunnel Road, China

This incredible tunnel was actually carved along the side of, and through, the side of a mountain in China. The villagers of Guoliang became tired of being isolated from the rest of China. Prior to the tunnel being built, they had a grueling journey of 720 almost vertical steps to complete to reach the next village.

So instead, 13 villagers took five years to hollow out a five-metre high and four-metre wide road – barely wide enough to fit a car through – to help connect the villages. The tunnel is erratically carved and on some sides plummets down into the ravine below. The views from the mountain are spectacular, so much so that to some it is worth the driving risk.