The world's worst roads revealed


A group of foreign tourists pedal along

Think that pothole-ridden stretch of road outside your house is an absolute nightmare to navigate? Well, think again, for it pales in comparison to the world's real highways to hell.

The Hertfordshire-based website Driving Experiences has compiled an interactive map highlighting the 22 worst routes around the globe, using data from the World Health Organisation, with Bolivia's 40-mile North Yungas road earning the dubious distinction of being the world's most dangerous.

The single-track road wanders round cliffs but has no barriers to stop inattentive drivers from plunging over the edge. Little wonder it has the nickname "Death Road".

Elsewhere, despite sounding idyllic, Fairy Meadows Road in Pakistan comes in second for its "treacherous high altitude, unstable and narrow mountain roads," reported Driving Experiences.

The makers of the map have ranked various places after considering factors including yearly road deaths, weather conditions, road surfaces and driving techniques.

The Pan-American Highway, which stretches from Alaska through South America and is the longest road in the world, gets an entry courtesy of sections made impassable because of wet weather, landslides and livestock wandering along it.

Meanwhile, in Brazil users of the Rodovia da Morte – or "highway of death" – run the gauntlet of bandits and gangs, with the badly-kept route notching up thousands of deaths each year, said the Daily Mail.

Closer to home, the busy, winding A726 dual carriageway in Scotland joins the list with a fear factor of four out of 10 for its high proportion of head-on collisions: between 2000 and 2005 there were almost 40 deaths on the road.

The interactive map – which can be viewed below, lets users explore the perilous routes and aims to highlight driving dangers. Despite improvements in road safety more than 1.2 million lives are lost on the roads each year around the world, with 20 million to 50 million more people injured annually.