Never mind terrorism or plane crashes, these are the countries with the world’s deadliest roads.
Statistically, you are more likely to be injured or die on the road. No matter where you are, you’ll always need to pay attention to local traffic, especially as driving around the world may often be a lot more reckless than you’re used to.
These are the top most dangerous roads in the world and the places you’ll need to pay extra special care when you’re crossing the street.
This list is based on WHO‘s study of the most dangerous roads in the world.
Far and away the world’s most dangerous roads are across the Indian subcontinent. In fact, around 106,000 people die every year on India’s roads.
NH2, the Delhi to Kolkata Highway, is the most dangerous with around 600-700 deaths per year. NH8, Delhi to Mumbai highway is a very close second.
Anyone who has been to India will understand. It’s not unusual to see a bus, overtaking a truck, overtaking a car, overtaking a scooter with a whole family balanced on it, overtaking an ox and cart… And the same thing coming the other way. And then a cow casually saunters across the road into the action.
Hiring a motorbike in India is popular, but unless you’re a very experienced rider, it’s best to avoid.
Second on the list of the most dangerous roads in the world, China has around 97,000 deaths a year.
Although their roads are not (quite) as chaotic as India you’ll still spy reckless driving everywhere. There are also various terrifying routes such as the SIchuan to Tibet highway which climbs high into the Himalayas and is subject to weather extremes, poor road conditions and the aforementioned reckless driving.
Be careful in the cities too. Although there are pedestrian crossings, many drivers see these more as a guide than an actual necessity.
With lots of roads and the world’s highest proportion of car ownership it’s no surprise that the States have the third highest amount of road deaths by volume at 43,000.
Although there are mountain passes across the Rockies, winding hill passes in New England and icy stretches of road through Alaska, the actual deadliest stretch of road is in Florida. US Route 1 crosses the whole of the country from Fort Kent in Maine to Key West in Florida and sees about 100 deaths a year on it’s southern stretch.
If you haven’t already looked up Russian dashcam videos then you should. Showcasing some of the terrifying and occasionally hilarious incidents which contribute to the Russian Federation charting fourth most deadly for roads in the world.
The 37,000 deaths a year are caused by everything from drunken driving, extreme weather, animal incursions, reckless driving and terrible roads.
The massively diverse landscapes of Brazil are home to the fifth most dangerous roads in the world. Around 37,000 people a year die on Brazilian roads.
Notoriously BR-116 is an interstate highway in the southern state of Matto Grosso del Sur, where it’s not just the traffic that can kill. Bandits, car jackers, terrible road surfacing and flash floods have all contributed in the past to the 1000’s of deaths on this stretch of road.
Other deadly spots include BR-319 which cuts through the Amazon to Manaus and BR-230 which cuts along the northwestern Amazonian coast.
Not yet very high on many tourists bucket lists, Iran is packed full of spectacular scenery and sights and has a fascinating culture. However their roads are among the most deadly in the world with around 23,000 deaths every year.
Most notorious is Chalus Road which is a highway leading from Tehran to the holiday resorts of the Caspian Sea, via stunning mountain scenery. In fact, most of Iran’s most dangerous roads are through mountain passes including the spectacular Kandevan Pass and Dalani Pass.
Tehran too is notoriously choked with traffic and has some of the most erratic driving in the world.
The only surprise about Mexico on this list is how low down it is. With 22-23,000 road deaths a year it makes the top most dangerous roads in the world.
Mexican driving is famously carefree, with laws of the road often ignored and drink driving a regular occurrence. But the slightly mundane sounding Highway 101 has a more insidious nickname, ‘The Highway of Death’. Drug gangs have taken to abducting and murdering people along this route in the Tamaulipas region of north west Mexico, a show of force against the government.
So as well as crazy driving, bad roads and drink driving, you also have to contend with murdering drug cartels. Not ideal.
Anyone who has been to Vietnam will know about taking your life into your hands just to cross the road. In fact, Vietnam probably ranks higher on this list but the statistics vary from source to source. Depending who you believe it can be 17,000 or 24,000 a year who die on the roads of Vietnam.
Many of these accidents take place in the packed streets of Vietnam’s biggest cities; Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Around 100 deaths per day occur in both these cities, many including pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycles.
The popular activity of ‘Easy Rider’ tours, hiring motorbikes and touring the stunning scenery of Vietnam, has been discouraged by the government due to the amount of accidents.
Although the total of around 16,500 road deaths means Indonesia has some of the world’s deadliest roads, once again, the figure may actually be much higher.
This vast country has lots of poorly maintained highways. Coupled with terrible driving and crazy weather it’s easy to see why there are so many fatalities on Indonesia’s roads. Sumatra is one of the hotspots for badly maintained roads and Jakarta has an alarmingly high casualties.
10. South Africa
With over 16,000 deaths per year, South Africa rounds out the top 10 most dangerous roads in the world. The combination of poorly maintained roads, erratic driving and overloaded vehicles means when an accident does happen it can be pretty catastrophic. Drink driving laws are often poorly enforced and car jacking is still a very real possibility in many of the bigger cities such as Jo’Burg, Durban and Cape Town.
The top 10 most dangerous roads in the world misses a few of the other popular tourist destinations.
Thailand and Egypt fall just outside the top ten with around 16,000 annual road deaths each. The Ukraine has around 10,000, Pakistan 8,000-9,000 and Japan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, South Korea, Venezuela and Turkey have between 6,000-7,000 each.
Wherever you are in the world, be careful on the roads!
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