The 5 Most Dangerous Roads in the World for Truckers

by Louis Rix on June 5, 2012

Driving a truck for a living is a risky profession. Driving on the interstates in the US can be a deadly venture, but in some parts of the world, it is not just the other drivers that truckers need to worry about. Some of the most dangerous roads in the world are difficult because of landscape, slippery conditions and low visibility. These roads take a true veteran driver to tame, and many unqualified drivers have met an early death by taking them on. Here is a list of the 5 most dangerous roads in the world that drivers travel on a daily basis.

Yungas Road

The Yungas Road in Bolivia is considered to be one of the most dangerous roads in the world.

Yungas Road aka The Death Road (Bolivia)

In Bolivia, the Yungas Road is used to travel from La Paz, Bolivia’s capital, out into the vast Amazonian rain forest region. This road is about 40 miles long and considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world. Commonly referred to as The Death Road, travelers are forced to navigate the small space without getting too close to the edge. This is often difficult as traffic is coming from both directions. Even cyclists have trouble staying on the road. The result of not paying attention, even for a brief second, is plummeting to a certain death. It is estimated that hundreds die each year as a result of their journey on the Yungas Road.

Arica to Iquique Road (Chile)

Bland scenery often lulls drivers into a daze as they attempt to make their way on the Arica to Iquique. The winding road travels through deep valleys and looking closely out of the window, will give drivers a good look at the remains of vehicles that did not make it through, somewhere near the bottom. While the bland, repetitive scenery makes the drive difficult, it is often other drivers that tend to be the problem. People speed along the road quickly without any thought for other drivers making the same trip. This shortcut, bypassing Santiago, will save a driver tons of time, until he takes a sharp turn around a valley and join the other drivers who never made it to the end of their journey.

Lena Highway aka The Highway from Hell (Russia)

In the wintertime, completing the 600 mile trek from Moscow to Yakutsk is a feat in itself. Drivers must compete with the ice and snow, along with limited visibility in order to reach their intended destination. In this area of the world, winter lasts about ten months. These conditions are not that bad, considering drivers are generally used to driving on slick icy roads (Yakutsk is recorded as the coldest city on the planet outside of Antarctica) conditions tend to worsen in the two warmer months of the year. The melting snow and ice cause this unpaved expanse of road to turn into a muddy swamp that leaves drivers stuck for hours or even days. While waiting for things to clear up, people often start fights, steal, and create overall chaos until things get moving once again. Fuel, food, firearms, and steel tow-line cables are among the basic necessities to get by during the rainy days on the Lena Highway.

Karakoram Highway

This bridge is just one of the remarkable features a driver will see along the Karakoram Highway which took the lives of more than 1000 people during the building process..

Karakoram Highway aka The Friendship Highway (Between China and Pakistan)

As one of the world’s highest paved roads, the Karakoram Highway is known to give drivers altitude sickness while driving between Pakistan and China. This modern engineering marvel took 20 years to build and took the lives from more than 1000 Pakistani and Chinese workers (mainly in landslides) in order to connect the Gilgit-Baltistan of Kashmir to the ancient Silk Road. The views are beautiful and cyclists often decide to take their chances in order to get a closer look at the surrounding area. If altitude sickness does not get a driver or the passengers, there are also rockslides to lookout for. If the rocks stay in place, there are still monsoon rains and heavy snow to make the drive more difficult. This exciting highway is also known officially as the N-35 within Pakistan (unofficially referred to as KKH) and G314 or China National Highway 314 in China.

Dalton Highway aka Alaska Route 11 (Alaska, United States)

Here’s a word of advice, don’t ever plan to traverse this stretch of road without some type of survival skills. Built for the purposes of oil exploration and transport, the highway stretches for more than 400 miles across the icy landscape of Alaska, ranging from just north of Fairbanks, AK to the Prudhoe Bay oil fields near Deadhorse, AK. Potholes are sprinkled all along the road and visibility can turn into almost zero with the snow coming down or the dust being kicked up by other drivers.

Despite its remoteness, this highway sees about 160 trucks daily pass in the summer months and approximately 250 everyday in the winter months.

You may have seen this infamous highway mentioned on seasons 3, 4, and 5 on Ice Road Truckers. The Dalton Highway was also the subject of the second episode of America’s Toughest Jobs and the first episode of The World’s Most Dangerous Roads, which initially aired on BBC.

Thank you to Louis Rix from Netcars.com for contributing this article. For more information on Netcars.com please click here

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Dipa June 11, 2012 at 6:41 am

Yeah, some of the roads these guys drive on are tremendously dangerous. There is a program on the History channel regarding this. Hats off to the brave truckers and thank you for the informative post.

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Purnima June 13, 2012 at 3:35 am

Thanks for the share Louis. The pictures of the roads are dreadful .I completely agree that driving a truck is indeed a risky profession and one needs to be truly proficient . Moreover landscape, slippery conditions and low visibility makes driving a deadly venture. Genuinely liked the post . Alluring share.

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Lee June 15, 2012 at 9:09 am

Lol them roads look insane, I have seen the one in bolivia somewhere else before it might have been top gear.

Great post buddy
Regards
Lee

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Abhishek June 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Hi Louis . Loved your share . The pictures of the roads are too scary . I very much agree that driving trucks is a profession that needs lot of concentration and excellent driving skills . Moreover driving on such roads needs lot of courage as well . Thanks .

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Sammie June 24, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Cannot believe that US 19 in Pasco/Pinellas County is not on this list….there are regular fatalities on that highway….people drive insanely fast and like maniacs.

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Paul Phillips August 1, 2012 at 11:49 am

Be thankful you don’t drive in Thailand, my Thai wife just took her test in Phuket last week. Consisted of 10 minutes going round the car park of the local government office and a theroy test of 3 minutes. That was it, got her full Thai driving licence! Now I’m going to have to teach her to actually be able to drive! No wonder its chaos here, I know the US has fatalities but its nothing compared to the deaths on Thai roads, and now we all know why!

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Hotel Nazareth August 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Those are really a very dangerous road, it’s very risky to someone’s life. They should do some road maintenance in there.

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bob August 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Wow, those roads look insane, they don’t look safe at all. Driving on such roads must take a lot of skill as well. Thanks for sharing.

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Gonzotrucker September 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm

A trucker has a very hard job anywhere in the world. But driving on these roads makes life on the edge. I would do it just for the experience.

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Nelieta November 27, 2012 at 8:58 am

I really enjoyed this article! Yes the road in Boliva that you are mentioning is one of the most dangerous in the world. I met a couple of people who went on Bikes and they all told the same story: Never again! I can just imagine how stressful it must be for a truck driver! Thank you for sharing!

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Fabien December 10, 2012 at 1:53 am

I survived the “Death Road” 3 years ago ! The views were awesome, and because the road was rocky and steep, I pretty much rode my breaks for the next 28 kilometers: not good for the bike, but better for my sanity LOL !

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Jessica March 1, 2013 at 7:03 am

Some of the roads are pretty crazy, I have seen the one i bolivia before on TV. Can anyone remember what the programme is called? It’s like ice road truckers but not on ice Lol.

Even though what they do is very dangerous the pay is meant to be pretty good, so as long as you don’t mind risking your life everyday I suppose it’s not too bad a job.

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Anthony The Travel Tart April 8, 2013 at 9:24 pm

I’ve gone down the Yungas road in a mountain bike. This was exhilarating, but would be terrifying if driving truck down here!

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Geary Heath May 15, 2013 at 4:53 am

I was just writing an article about car crashes a while back and now here comes a great set on information about roads to watch out. I was trying to tackle about the role of both the car and the driver on car accidents. Thanks a lot for the post!

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Erwin July 21, 2013 at 9:19 am

After seeing the picture of Dalton Highway aka Alaska Route 11 (Alaska, United States), I found it as an adventure road. :) I want to experience there…

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BILL August 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Some of these drivers,that think they can race down our mountains,should watch ICE ROAD TRUCKERS.I have seen some drivers act like they were on a sunday drive,going down our mountain roads,in a snow storm.

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Jesse Christopher August 22, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Those roads look INTENSE! The amount of wear on your head from having to focus 100% of the time starts to take its toll, and not everyone can do it, that’s why I’m so thankful for our truckers here in the States. What that Paul guy before me said about his Thai wife taking her driving test in Thailand made me feel a million times better and thankful for our tests here, even though they can be a load of crap sometimes, too. Truckers around the world have a tough job, it’s not like mother nature was designed flat and smooth and made for traveling on rubber tires.

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Used Motorcycles September 10, 2013 at 1:38 am

This is great information,I had a good time reading the entire length of the article. Thank you.

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