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At one time or another, most drivers encounter unsafe road conditions. Hazards can appear in many different forms; for instance, poor weather, drunk drivers, and simple human error can all complicate an otherwise uneventful journey. On the other hand, sometimes the condition of the road itself can put your life in jeopardy.
Some of the following roads appear normal, but actually have high death rates. Others just look outrageously insane. And, of course, some roads fall into both categories.
This list is dedicated to all the white-knuckled, terrified drivers who are forced to brave dangerous roads – and to all the crazies who navigate them for fun.
Grand Trunk Road (India)
Constructed by the Pashtun emperor Sher Shah Suri in the 16th century, India’s Grand Trunk Road (also known as GT) spans more than 1,500 miles from Bangladesh in the east to Pakistan in the west, serving as one of the main thoroughfares across the Indian subcontinent. Over the years, it has functioned both as a major trade route and as a convenient right-of-way for invading armies.
GT is considered dangerous not because of risky heights or disheartening road conditions, but because of the traffic congestion. Trucks, buses, bicycles, pedestrians, and animals have turned parts of this heavily-used road into a major headache. If you’re planning to drive here, you’ll want to be as alert as possible.
Sichuan – Tibet Highway (China)
China’s high-altitude Sichuan – Tibet Highway covers about 1,500 miles between Chengdu in the east and Lhasa (Tibet) in the west, offering the choice between the northern or southern route. Both options boast beautiful scenery, enormous mountain peaks, various cultural and historical attractions, and many famous rivers. Que’er Mountain pass, the highest point on the route, rises to over 20,000 feet.Like many other roads that cut through mountains, the Sichuan – Tibet Highway is prone to landslides, falling rocks, and extreme weather conditions that can close roads for a month at a time. Add avalanches and altitude sickness to the lineup, and you could find yourself in rather unsafe driving conditions. It’s certainly a great route for sightseeing, but keep in mind that it will also add a good dose of intensity to your driving adventures.
Skippers Road (New Zealand)
Beautiful, yes, but also risky. Unless you’re a thrill seeker, leave the driving to the tour guides, and keep in mind that car rental companies probably won’t allow you to explore Skippers Road with their vehicles.
Halsema Highway (Philippines)