Aside from a few roads in the Cotswolds, Scottish Highlands and the Brecon Beacons, us Brits face few truly dangerous roads.
For the majority of motorists that’s welcome news, but what about the thrill seekers who get a kick from tackling tough stretches of tarmac? Where can they go to push their car to the extreme?
To find out, here’s a look at 7 of the most dangerous roads in the world.
Highway 1, Mexico
Dirt, rock and tarmac provide daunting unpredictability on Mexico’s Highway 1. Snaking through the backbone of the country, this epic road features one too many unguarded precipices for those afraid of heights, falling or almost certain death. Take a 4X4, as well as a spare pair of undies for when things get truly scary.
Stelvio Pass, Italy
European countries may be renowned for their safe, driver-friendly roads, but this seems to have eluded the designers of Italy’s Stelvio Pass. Located high in the Italian Alps, this uber-windy stretch of tarmac is the Holy Grail for some motorists and a formidable inconvenience for others. Featuring 2.7km of hairpin bends, drivers would do well not to be distracted by the surrounding natural beauty.
Trans-Siberian Highway, Russia
If unpaved roads, car killing potholes and generally shoddy driving conditions don’t make the Trans-Siberian Highway worthy of this list, the sub-zero temperatures should confirm it. As the world’s longest continuous highway, the Trans-Siberian traverses mountains, deserts and forests as it transports people from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg. Don’t expect a leisurely weekend drive.
Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China
Claiming the lives of 7,500 in every 100,000 drivers that use it, the Sichuan-Tibet Highway is arguably the deadliest road on this shortlist, and shouldn’t be treated with complacency. The Highway negotiates mile after mile of hazardous terrain and avalanches, rockslides and volatile weather conditions only add to the peril.
Luxor-al-Hurghada Road, Egypt
Putting aside the tough terrain, soaring temperatures and poor driving etiquette, Egypt’s Luxor-al-Hurghada Road is precarious for quite different reasons. Connecting the ancient cities of Luxor and Hurghada, this four hundred mile stretch is infamous for its high-crime rate, with bandits, robbers and terrorists regularly running tourist vehicles off the highway. Our advice? Avoid at all costs.
Skippers Canyon Road, New Zealand
Requiring a special government-issue permit to access, Skippers Canyon Road is a doggedly winding road located on New Zealand’s beautiful south island. After decades of unrestricted access in which hundreds lost their lives, the NZ government introduced a permit system meaning drivers have to apply to drive Skippers. Today, the road is a famous tourist attraction and offers breath-taking views for those brave enough to drive it.
Halsema Highway, Philippines
The next time you’re on the bus to work, spare a thought for those trapped aboard a similar vehicle as it negotiates the notorious Halsema Highway. With little to no highway maintenance and unguarded abysses, Halsema claims a handful of lives each month – yet it remains the only route to Sagada, a beauty spot that’s popular with tourists.
Fancy tackling one or more of these treacherous roads? Make sure you and your car are up to the challenge by browsing Prestone’s range of products; each of which has been specifically developed for extreme driving. To find out more, visit the Prestone homepage.
Trans-Siberian Highway image by ru:Участник:Mike1979 Russia (From Russian Wikipedia ru:Изображение:IMG 1661.jpg), CreativeCommons, via Wikimedia Commons.