Most Dangerous Roads Around the World2 min read
If you have a license and drive frequently, you likely know the rules of the road by now, as well as what to expect. You know which areas are the most congested at certain times of the day, where you’re most likely to get cut off, or roads that are lined with pot holes.
But when you’re in a foreign country, there’s a good chance that traffic rules or the quality of the roads will be vastly different. Renting a car or taking a taxi or bus in another country can be a unique part of your travel experience, but it can also be a dangerous one. Rochelle Sobel, the founder of ASIRT.org, a non-profit that promotes road safety around the world, said “Tourists are often unaware of the risks of they are taking when driving on unknown roads. They may not know the law, or even the road culture.”
While many regions around the world are notorious for their unsafe driving conditions, here are some that top the charts:
- Haiti: Before the earthquake devastated this small nation on the island of Hispaniola in 2010, the roads were already considered dangerous. Traffic, to put it politely, is rather chaotic. Rarely will you find lane indicators, or people who acknowledge them, speed limit signs, or even traffic lights. Traffic jams are also common and so long that it can take up to an hour to travel a short distance. Right of way is typically not observed, and many drivers perform unexpected and dangerous moves on the road.
- Argentina: Buenos Aires in particular is known for its aggressive and pedal-heavy drivers. While there are more established road signs and devices to improve the flow of traffic, such as traffic lights, speed limit signs, and traffic lanes, not many locals adhere to them. When driving here, be sure to take extra precaution and stay alert.
- Nicaragua: Similar to the previous countries, speed limits and road rules aren’t typically followed in Nicaragua. Traffic generally moves slowly, especially since many cars are in poor condition and frequently break down on the road. But dying cars aren’t the only objects you have to worry about—bicycles, oxcarts, animals, and more are known to appear on the road as well. Additionally, motorcycles often move quickly in and out of traffic, so be on your guard. Driving is particularly dangerous at night, especially if you’re not on the main road; secondary roads are often in bad condition and lack adequate lighting.
- Indonesia: Confident, defensive driving is a must in this developing nation for a variety of reasons. Between extremely congested roads, broken traffic signals, and ignored road rules, driving in Indonesia is a risky task. Additionally, motorcyclists have been known to sometimes harass drivers and tire repair shops have a reputation for placing nails or sharp objects along the road.
The next time you plan a trip to a new destination, be sure to research the local roads and practice common road safety behaviors.