Atlantic Ocean Road (Norway)
The Atlantic Ocean Road connects many of the small islands off Norway's western coast that sit at the entrances to its many fjords. Besides this distinctive bridge, drivers must watch out for wild North Atlantic weather conditions. Large waves frequently crash into the bridge and onto the roadway.
Canning Stock Route (Australia)
To the call the Canning Stock Route a road is more than an overstatement. It's really a 1,150-mile dirt path carved into Western Australia. That's about the length of driving from NYC to Kansas City. It isn't maintained and is only recommended for 4x4 vehicles. There are also no water, fuel, or services along the route. Drive at your own risk!
Caucasus Road (Georgia)
The Tusheti region in the northwest of the country of Georgia is remote, and the only road to the village of Omala is full of switchbacks cutting across the mountains' faces. There are no guardrails, of course, and avalanches are common, especially in winter.
Zoji La Pass (India)
The Zoji La mountain pass is in the Western Himalayas. At an elevation of over 11,000 feet above sea level, the pass has to close during the winter months because snow eventually makes the route impassable. Avalanches are also a consistent worry throughout the year. A new tunnel being built through the mountain should help things considerably.
Guoliang Tunnel Road (China)
A group of villagers raised money to connect their remote village of Guoliang to the rest of China beyond the Taihang Mountains. Constructed mostly by hammers and chisels, it is three-quarters of a mile long and 16 feet tall. It weaves its way along the mountainside, going in and out of tunnels with "window" cutouts, and features few railings along the sides of the road.
James Dalton Highway (Alaska)
Even some American roads are dangerously remote! You may recognize the James Dalton Highway (or Alaska Route 11) from the tv series Ice Road Truckers. The majority of the road is basically gravel, and there are few places to refuel along the way. There are no medical facilities along the route. It is prone to dangerous winter conditions and flooding, as well.
Hana Highway (Hawai'i)
The Road to Hana isn't in poor condition. But because it's embedded into the side of the Hawaiian mountainside, it has many twists and hairpin turns—over 600 of them! It's also narrow with steep drop-offs into the ocean and multiple single-lane bridges.
Vitim River Bridge (Russia)
Does this look like a working bridge to you? It's actually an old train bridge that was decommissioned. Wooden planks were then put on top to allow cars to use it as a bridge. However, the wood is now rotting and worn. There are no guardrails either. In winter, it's easy to slip on the icy surface and plunge into the ice. In summer, the rushing river rises up to the wooden planks so that you're barely afloat.
Commonwealth Avenue (Philippines)
Commonwealth Avenue isn't dangerous because of poor condition or steep cliffs. It's one of the most congested roads in the world. Even though it is a road for vehicles, it has a large number of pedestrians and cyclists on its 18 lanes. In fact, it has some of the highest rates of pedestrian fatalities. Many estimates say 7,000 people die annually along the road, often called "Killer Highway."
Karnali Highway (Nepal)
The Karnali Highway provides goods and services to some of the most remote portions of the country. But heavy monsoon rains often cause landslides that make the road impassable. Only around 7.5% of the entire length of the highway is actually paved in blacktop. In 2010, monsoon rains closed the road for 3 months, making 1/3 of the entire country inaccessible by ground.
Karakoram Highway (Pakistan/China)
The Karakoram Highway connecting Pakistan and China is one of the world's dangerous because it is also one of the world's highest paved roads. Avalanches often destroy entire sections, and it is a narrow path to traverse. Many areas only have stone mounds as railing. Thankfully, this bus was caught, and all passengers were able to escape unharmed.
Kabul-Jalalabad Highway (Afghanistan)
The Kabul-Jalalabad Highway is another steep mountain pass with many hairpin turns that may make passengers nervous. Because it is narrow, and in poor condition in some sections, traffic jams can often form. This is not a place you want to be stuck.
Killar to Pangi Road (India)
The Pangi Valley is a remote tribal region that can often be cut off from the rest of India during the snowy winter months. This road is barely one lane and is mostly dirt and rocks. It was dynamited into the mountainside. The steep and slippery conditions can make the 32-mile journey last hours.
Kolyma Highway (Russia)
The Kolyma Highway is often called the "Road of Bones" not because so many people die on it but because it was built by gulag prisoners of Josef Stalin. That doesn't mean that it isn't dangerous. It is in such a state of disrepair that the road is actually easier to drive on during the winter when it freezes (than the muddy wet summer months). But white-out conditions make it difficult to see what's ahead.
Apache Trail Scenic Drive (Arizona)
The Apache Trail covers some amazing scenery, but you better keep your eye on the road. This loop is narrow and some of the guardrails don't look like they would keep you on the road. It's not recommended for larger vehicles like RVs or even some SUVs.
Le Passage du Gois (France)
No, this road doesn't lead straight into the ocean. At least, not at low tide, it doesn't. When the tide comes in, however, the road does become impassable with waves lapping over the surface of the roadway. Even at low tide, things can still be dangerous with water or mud (or even other debris) covering the road.
Luxor-al-Hurghada Road (Egypt)
The Luxor-al-Hurghada Road travels through the Egyptian desert, which seems dangerous enough (especially if you break down or have an emergency). Head-on collisions are numerous, and therefore, fatalities are more prominent. Egyptians also have a tendency not to drive with their lights on—even in the dark! There are also reports of numerous bandits on the route.
Nanga Parbat Pass (Pakistan)
The ninth-highest mountain in the world seems like a great place for a road, doesn't it? In actuality, this is mostly just a dirt path barely wide enough for one vehicle to edge along the side of a mountain. If someone is coming you're way, good luck turning around! It actually connects to the Karakoram Highway which is also on this list and dangerous in its own right.
Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road (Greece)
The twists and turns of Patiopoulo-Perdikaki make the steep grade easier to handle for drivers. However, the blind hairpin turns aren't great for visibility. And when the road is wet and slippery, it's really best just to just stay away.
Cotopaxi Volcano Road (Ecuador)
The Cotopaxi Volcano Road may look relatively safe and unchallenging, but with that active volcano in the vicinity, the roads need constant upkeep. See all that snow at the peak of the cone? Flash floods are common in the area which also destroy the roadway, and some sections are just gravel crossing a running stream. Bridge-less stream crossing sounds super safe.
Sichuan-Tibet Highway (China)
The Sichuan-Tibet Highway has the twisting and turning mountain roads common to other dangerous highways on this list. Landslides and avalanches are also common. And please don't take your eyes off the road to try and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It's just not worth the risk.
Skippers Canyon Road (New Zealand)
Carved by hand by miners, Skippers Canyon Road is 16.5 miles of dirt and gravel that is barely the width of your car. With no guardrails, it's easy to slide down the side of the mountain in a jiffy. Kiwis love their adventure sports, but driving this roadway is just too extreme for us.
Federal Highway 5 (Mexico)
The conditions along Federal Highway 5 aren't great, and portions of the road are in disrepair. Some areas have sunken into the sandy earth creating large dips that are detrimental to any car's structure. One is so bad, in fact, that it is literally named "Oh Sh*t Dip" and is so labeled on the roadway itself. Please don't try to ramp these slopes!
Stelvio Pass (Italy)
The Stelvio Pass looks like it may be better suited as a pathway for skiers. It has numerous hairpin twists and turns down the mountainside. The most dangerous part of the road may be that it is a popular route for cyclists. Share the road carefully!
Taroko Gorge Road (Taiwan)
This narrow road is in a narrow gorge alongside a river. Portions of the pathway are under mountain overhangs, and the risk of falling rocks is considerable. Storms also cause flooding along the roadway leading to dangerous driving conditions for cars trying to pass each other. There aren't two lanes, just certain specific sections where you can wait for someone to pass.
Tianmen Mountain 99-Bend Road (China)
So named for its 99 turns, this road in China twists so much it even goes under itself as you can see in the picture. Some sections are at a 37-degree grade. For comparison, Filbert Sreet and Lombard Street in San Francisco are 31.5 and 22 degrees, respectively.
This mountain pass is over 6,500 feet above sea level. The dry rocky terrain is prone to rock slides, and the narrow road is shared by small cars and large trucks alike. The views from the top are incredible, but keep your eyes on the road as you make your way up. Many sections lack barriers.
Trans-Siberian Highway (Russia)
The Trans-Siberian Highway has some of the same problems as the James Dalton Highway in Alaska (also on this list). It goes through desolate areas where there is no help or respite for motorists. Be sure and fuel up ahead of time! And in winter, the roads become even more dangerous and visibility drops to essentially nothing.
The A44 (Wales)
The A44 isn't a particularly long stretch of road in Wales, but it has come to be known as one of the most fatal roads in all the United Kingdom. Fatalities are so high because of the large number of head-on collisions, thanks to the high number of blind turns along this windy country road.
Yungas Road (Bolivia)
The Yungas Road in Bolivia is probably the most dangerous road in the world. It's known as "The Road of Death," even by locals. It winds up the side of a mountain on nothing but a gravel road barely big enough for one car. Even so, many large busses make the route every day up and down the path. It's all too common to read of a bus that slipped off the edge without guardrails. Cyclists also frequent the pathway, making it dangerous for them and drivers.