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The 10 deadliest roads in the world

Love the adrenaline fuelled driving of the Ice Road Truckers? Here are 10 deadly roads that would give even the bravest trucker pause for thought…

1. North Yungas Road, Bolivia

North Yungas Road in Bolivia has earned the ominous but appropriate title, The Death Road, claiming up to 300 lives a year. An essential transport route for locals, vehicles are forced to pass each other on this narrow track, edging past sheer drops of up to 15,000ft come rain, shine, fog, tumbling rocks,  impromptu waterfalls, mudslides...

2. The Cotopaxi Volcano Road, Ecuador

The 25mile road that connects the Pan American Highway with Cotopaxi Volcano National Park is infamous. Frequent pot holes and flash floods make for an exciting journey, and that’s before reaching one of the most active volcanos in the world. Measuring an impressive 19,393ft, the Cotopaxi Volcano has erupted 50 times since 1738!

3. The Widow Maker, UK

Britain’s most dangerous road, the A537 from Macclesfield to Buxton, winds through the idyllic Peak District. Although there are the steep banks, stone walls and British weather to contend with, most accidents on this popular motorcyclist route have occurred in dry and sunny conditions! Scary stuff!

4. The Way to Fairy Meadows, Pakistan

Carved into the Himalayas, leading to Nanga Parbat (The Killer Mountain), the Way to Fairy Meadows is a rocky road that winds its way to an altitude of 10,826ft. Although Fairy Meadows was named for its peaceful, magical atmosphere, visitors have to risk sheer drops and occasional landslides to reach it…  

5. Road from Jalabad to Kabul

This deadly road passes through Taliban territory and has claimed countless lives. The same length and often the same width as Bolivia’s North Yungas Road, locals, buses and even trucks travel this mountain road at breakneck speeds.

6. Tuen Mun Road, Hong Kong

Built in 1977, the frequent blind spots and narrow carriageways on Hong Kong’s busiest route have led to horrific crashes. Many believe the death toll has been increased by the ghosts of past victims haunting the highway. Tales from locals and tourists alike describe spectres appearing in front of their cars, causing them to swerve into other travellers.

7. Zoji La Pass

At an altitude of 11,575ft the Zoji La Pass is the second highest road in the Himalayan mountain range. The road is impassable for parts of the winter, lying dormant under several metres of snow. Parts will also become impassable after a storm, after heavy rains turn the unpaved track to sticky mud.

8. Trans-Siberian Highway, Russia

Third longest highway in the world, the Trans-Siberian Highway in Russia stretches the 6835 miles from St Petersburg to Vladivostock. Drivers must navigate 10 month long winters, snow drifts, white outs and diversions across frozen rivers and lakes.

9. Los, Caracoles Pass, Chile

This spectacular winding road allows convoys of articulated lorries to slowly ascend 10,420ft of Andes and pass between Chile and Argentina. Known to the locals as the Snails Pass, impatience could prove deadly; the road is covered in snow for much of the year and has no safety barriers.

10. James Dalton Highway, Alaska

As fans of The Ice Road Truckers will know, The James Dalton Highway, also known as the Haul Way, deserves a place in our top ten. The 414 mile road connects the Artic Sea Oil Fields to the rest of the world. In the summer, drivers must deal with dust clouds and flying rocks and, when summer ends, temperatures can drop as low as -62 Degrees Celsius (recorded in 1971). In winter months 250 trucks a day tackle the steep icy slopes with grades of up to 12%... dangerous road, but great TV!

Helen Comerford