Are you ready for that summer road trip? Pack up the car and hit the highway with nothing but pavement ahead of you. If your idea of a great vacation is life on the open road, you might be intrigued to discover some of the world’s most dangerous roads. While these roads snake their way through amazing scenery, they come at quite a cost. Falling rocks, ice, avalanches and cliff edges make these road trips potential death traps. Even if you aren’t planning on any death defying road trips, make sure you are equipped to handle anything you might come across on the road and invest a car that has the most current safety features. It might just save your life when you least expect it. If you are an adventure seeker, check out these epic roads and consider a road trip across the globe.
Old Yungas Road – Bolivia
In Bolivia, there is a 40 mile stretch of road that connects La Paz to Coroico, and it is often referred to as the most dangerous road in the world. The hairpin turns, frequent mudslides, falling rocks and treacherous cliffs make it a perilous road. While people drive on the right side of the road in Bolivia, on this road they drive on the left so those ascending the mountain have a better view of the edge of the cliff. There are also bikers often riding on the road adding another challenge to this already deadly road.
Zoji Pass – India
Between Kashmir and Ladakh is the Zoji La, an important mountain pass in India. It is an almost 6 mile road with nothing but cliffside and mountain. This zig zagging road is impassable in the winter months but crucial in the summer months to bring in necessities and allow for travel. This dirt road snakes its way through the Western Himalayan Mountain range offering just a single lane that is terrifying to navigate at best.
Stelvio Pass – Italy
As the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps, this road has 180 degree turns, and it was voted The Best Driving Road in 2008 by Top Gear. However, it is no picnic. Aside from its constant twisting and turning, it is also one of the busiest of the ultra high passes in the Alps providing only more obstacles as you drive skyward.
Spanning more than 1,300 miles, this road stretches from Chengdu of Sichuan to Lhasa in Tibet. At a slow pace, it will take travelers about 15 days to travel the entire road, and they will see breathtaking peaks, roadside yaks and some of the worst driving conditions. There are heart pounding turns, avalanches, landslides, constantly changing weather and no safety guards to keep your car on the narrow road.
Skippers Canyon Road – New Zealand
This narrow, gravel road was carved out by miners into the cliff face about 140 years ago. The Canyon itself was carved out by glaciers depositing gold into the rock. During the gold rush, miners hastily created the road to make an easy route to bring in mining equipment. The road was eventually abandoned by the miners, but still used by those living in the canyon and many tourists. Keep in mind, If you happen to be driving a rental car on it, the insurance won’t cover any accidents, and if two cars meet each other head on, there isn’t enough room to pass. One of you will have to carefully back up until there is an area wide enough to pass. This 16 mile road has beautiful views of the canyons but life threatening edges.
Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria
In the High Tauern National Park, this road is at the center of Austria’s largest National Park that hugs the mountain for almost 30 miles with 36 fateful turns. On this road, travelers with find majestic waterfalls, alpine scenery and stunning mountain peaks like Edelweissspitze and Grossglockner. Those amazing sights can cost you your life. There is potential falling rocks, ice, snow and nothing but the natural elements of an unforgiving terrain.
While you might not be tackling any of these dangerous roads anytime soon (if ever), it doesn’t mean your commute doesn’t offer its own dangers. If you are buying a car this summer for your family or a new teen driver, research cars with the top safety picks that will help eliminate some of those common driving hazards especially if you are planning a long road trip. We love that Kia offers a wide variety of models from eco-friendly cars to family-size crossovers, and the 2017 Kia Optima has just earned the highest designation possible as the Top Safety Pick Plus from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Many of the Kia vehicles have a variety of safety features that protect drivers and their precious cargo from every day driving hazards. Even if you take the road less traveled, be sure to choose a car that will get you there safely.
I am a #KiaMom who drives a #KiaSorento. All opinions remain my own.