Without roads and bridges, traveling around in our cars and trucks would be a lot more difficult. Smooth paved highways, gentle curves and gradual grades, these are the sort of things that make driving relatively painless, at least in most areas of the world. Then there are these following stretches of road. Resembling more of a ride you’d find in a theme park, some of the world’s dangerous roads and bridges are just plain ridiculous. We can’t believe people still drive on them. Here are 10 dangerous roads that are scarier than roller coasters.
10: Eshima Ohashi Bridge, Japan
Most people like their bridges to be relatively straight with minimal twists and very low grade. Whoever built the Eshima Ohashi Bridge in Japan, clearly did not get this memo. Spanning Lake Nakaumi, this bridge has a 6.1% grade to give it the height needed to clear shipping. The added curves and twists are seemingly just there to complete the whole roller coaster experience. However, don’t get too worked up. Photos tend to make this thing look far worse than it actually is. That said, we still think it takes a brave person to cross this rather intimidating Route.
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9: Trollstigen, Norway
Literally meaning the troll’s path, this short little bit a roadway in Norway sure looks intimidating. Sure, it’s not as long as some other dangerous roads we’ll get to in a minute, but don’t let that fool you. Situated in the Picturesque Mountains, be sure to keep your eyes on the road. Otherwise, you’ll never negotiate the 10% incline and 11 hairpins turns. Throw in some rock falls, narrow stretches and unpredictable weather. The Trollstigen makes those roller coasters at your nearby park look pretty tame.
8: Zojila Pass, India
Take one of the craziest rollercoasters you’ve ever been on. Then remove all the safety features, added some horrible weather and make sure the track is rusted and falling part. That’s pretty much what India’s Zojila Pass is like. As you’d expect from any mountain pass route. The dangerous roads are narrow with numerous twists and hairpins along the way. High winds, landslides and meters of snow can make this roadway so bad that they have to occasionally close it. At least your roller coaster has a safety bar to hold on to. There is absolutely nothing in the way of guardrails to stop you from plummeting to your death should you slip off the road here.
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7: Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China
Buses plunging off the side and killing all their occupants. Car wrecks strewn along its treacherous length. Yup, this is the Sichuan-Tibet Highway, at over 2000 km in length. This is one long and deadly stretch of dangerous roads. So, what makes this so much worse than a roller coaster? Well, death toll aside, large stretches are unpaved. It has no barriers to stop you from falling off the edge and the elements can be unpredictable. At least on a roller coaster while you wet your pants you know you are snuggly held in with almost no chance of death.
6: Atlanterhavsveien, Norway
The few curves, some steep bits and a good chance of getting wet. Well, that sounds like a description for anyone riding one of those log rides that crash into the water. It would also be accurate to say that sums up one’s experience while driving the Atlanterhavsveien. This Norwegian Road’s name translates into “The Atlantic Road”. Which seems appropriate since it works its way over the water, connecting a bunch of small islands along the country’s coast. In addition to facing off against the crashing waves and winds. Drivers must pay attention to the numerous twists and turns which make this feel more like a thrill ride than a national highway.
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5: Halsema Highway, Philippines
If you are an experienced rally driver with a purpose-built car, then the Halsema Highway is the place for you. Unfortunately, most people aren’t trained, professionals. Don’t drive cars with high-end suspension, steering and brake parts. For the rest of us, the extreme climbs, drops and curves of this Philippines roadway can get downright treacherous at times. Add in fog, rain and the occasional landslide and Halsema becomes a roller coaster ride straight out of your nightmares.
4: Old Yungas Road, Bolivia
Sure, the odd person here and there dies on a roller coaster. But what about an average of 300 per year? The Old Yungas Road in Bolivia had this notorious reputation before a new and less dangerous route was opened in 2008. Steep and lacking guardrails in many areas, you are best to keep your arms in the vehicle at all times. Thanks to the fact the Old Yungas narrows to just 3 meters at some points. It’s probably a good thing that this old stretch is now mainly a tourist destination for those who want the ultimate mountain biking experience.
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3: Tianmen Mountain Road, China
11km long and with an elevation change of 1100m from start to finish, this Chinese roadway is not for the faint of heart. With 99 hairpins turns, this road isn’t narrow by the standard of other dangerous roads mentioned in this list, but meeting an oncoming vehicle can make things a bit challenging. There are barriers all along the route but too much speed or getting caught up in the beauty of the surrounding mountains won’t prevent you from going over the edge and taking a rather long fall to the bottom.
2: Karakoram Highway, Pakistan
The world’s highest paved international roadway, the Karakoram highway cuts through the mountains and canyons to link Pakistan and China. Naturally, being a mountainous route, this road this dangerous to begin with. And in heavy fog, sudden blizzards and flooding and you have a terrifying drive. It doesn’t end there, however, the highway is so high above sea level that some drivers suffer from altitude sickness thanks to the thin air. Due to its high elevation and the difficult conditions in which it was constructed, it is referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World.
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1: James Dalton Highway, America – Dangerous Roads
Located in the most northern part of Alaska, the James Dalton Highway is not for anyone who is a new driver, a tedious driver, or driving a car that doesn’t have four-wheel drive. The highway is around 414 miles long and is primarily used as a shipping route for the Prudhoe Bay Oilfields, which means the icy road is used by a lot of big rigs with flammable substances. There’s also a lack of gas stations or any other kind of civilization. Flying rocks can heavily damage headlights and windshields, trucks can wipe out visibility in a matter of seconds, and cars can skid off the road with just one wrong turn. If you visit Alaska and rent a car, there are actual rules that state you can’t drive on Dalton.
We bet that intimidating rollercoaster of the nearby theme park won’t seem so scary anymore. However, if you’re into that stuff then stick around because the abouticles has a ton of lists that show all sorts of terrifying and amazing things just be sure to comment and we’ll talk to you next time. Bye!