Many of us have experienced that feeling: cruising along a country lane, enjoying the sounds of the radio and wondering about your plans for the weekend. When, all of a sudden, another vehicle (usually a lorry) comes flying round the corner and past your window. It’s a near miss, and probably not as close as you let yourself think, but what if you had to flirt with death every time you went for a drive? What if your daily commute consisted of the most dangerous roads in the world?
Thankfully, if you live in the UK, then the chances are you won’t have to give that question much thought. But there are many roads around the globe where drivers are constantly dicing with death, and we’ve put together a list of our favourites. Ladies and gentlemen, helmets on please…
Ruta 5 – Arica to Iquique Road (Chile)
The road from Arica to Iquique has a reputation, and it’s not a good one. The road winds past deep valleys, dotted by skeletons of vehicles that couldn’t survive. There isn’t much traffic, and the traffic you do see is moving so fast that you begin to understand why the said skeletons exist. The scenery is isolated and sandy, so, if you happen to find yourself on Ruta 5, keep your eyes on the road and most definitely don’t look down.
James Dalton Highway (Alaska)
The fact it’s in Alaska probably tells you a fair amount, but this is essentially a 414 mile-long gravel track to and from the most northerly points of the state. Flying rocks, interrupted by the wheels of large oil-transporting vehicles, regularly crash through the windscreens of unlucky vehicles on both sides of the road. I shiver just to think about it.
A road that is famous from TV car programmes all over the world, Trollstigen is stunning to look at and stunning, if a bit scary, to drive on. With a 9% incline in places and a total of 11 hairpin bends. The fear of driving up the road is worth it, though, for at the top there’s a car park and a viewing balcony – offering simply incredible views.
Stelvio Pass (Italy)
A road that looks like Italy’s very own Trollstigen, Stelvio Pass is quite literally a zigzag and is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps. An incredible 48 hairpins make for a windy road, but this is not so much dangerous as breathtaking – offering some of the finest views of the Alps and across the border into Switzerland.
The A682 (England)
Okay, so not quite as dangerous as the roads above, and not offering the same views, but the A682 is the most dangerous road in England, having claimed just under one hundred lives in the last decade. A single lane stretch across the Yorkshire and Lancashire border, experts claim it has an average of 0.5 deaths per ten miles each year, having had 22 serious accidents in the last three years alone. Unsurprisingly, the motorcyclists love it.
This guest post was contributed by Arnold Tyres Garage in Nottingham.