Off-roading can make for great fun, but some trails are safer than others. If you’re confident and comfortable behind the wheel, you may be tempted to brave the treacherous terrain of these highways. But be warned: they take dozens of lives each year. That's why they are the deadliest roads in the world.
Norway is an incredibly scenic country and traversing the Atlantic Ocean Road is great for catching some amazing views of the Norwegian mountains. But only up to a point. While most of the Atlantic Ocean Road is safe for travelers, there’s one section of the road that’s incredibly dangerous. Stretching eight kilometers (five miles), this part of the road rises at a steep and awkward angle that creates a wind tunnel during the winter. And even if you were willing to risk the nearly 300-meter (984-foot) ascent and tumultuous winds, you’d still have to contend with the Atlantic Ocean. Towering waves frequently cascade over this stretch of road, making it more suitable for swimming than driving.
While the Dalton Highway is frequently used by truckers, it's not a trek for the faint of heart. Stretching through an eerie 666 kilometers (414 miles) of snowy Alaskan terrain, the Dalton Highway leaves travelers at the mercy of intense freezing winds and avalanches. Most of the road is unpaved and a far hike from the nearest gas station or hospital. That means that without the proper supplies and survival gear, getting stranded on this frosty highway can quickly turn into a death sentence. If you ever decide to take a drive on the Dalton Highway, make sure you’re well-prepared and in a sturdy vehicle.
Passing through 113 kilometers (70 miles) of mountainous terrain in northern India, the road from Killar to Kishtwar can trip up even the most experienced drivers. The Killar Kishtwar road was built by villagers hundreds of years ago, and it’s had barely any repairs since the original construction. The road is built into steep cliffs and is so narrow that only one vehicle can pass at a time. There are also no guardrails, so there’s nothing to stop you from falling over the edge if you make a wrong turn. A very skilled driver can handle the ride up the Killar Kishtwar Road, but only during the right time of year. In the colder months, the road is closed because of mudslides—even the best driver can’t survive one of those.
Commonly called “the most dangerous highway in the world” and “road of death”, the North Yungas Road has earned its lethal reputation with the hundreds of lives that it has claimed. Passing through 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Cordillera Oriental Mountain Range, this narrow highway rises 4,600 meters (15,091 feet) above the ground. Prior to 2006, hundreds of people perished attempting to traverse the pass. While a few more guardrails were installed and helped cut back on the number of fatalities, you can still see all the memorials for those who couldn’t make it through the treacherous terrain of the North Yungas Road.
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