Ever been on a road that you thought could do with a bit more maintenance or had some sharp bend you weren't too comfortable with? Well, that was probably nothing compared to some of the roads out there were death and destruction are a regular occurrence. Sometimes these roads are just not well kept and other times it is because they have to go through perilous locations, but here we look at some of the world's most dangerous roads.
10. Tianmen Mountain Road, China
Just 6 miles in length this short but sweet road packs in a lot as it rises a breathtaking 1,100 meters to the Tianmen cave, a natural rock arch that towers above the world and is often referred to as the gate to heaven. However, with 99 hairpin bends in it, they make it one of the most dangerous roads in the world.
Not for the faint of heart or the casual driver.
9. Quepos Bridge, Costa Rica
A rickety, single-track bridge with loose wooden slats that clank ominously as your roll over them. Hardly the most reassuring drive and it barely looks stable enough to hold a pedestrian's weight let alone a car but apparently, delivery trucks use the bridge regularly to save time when crossing from Jaco to Quepos on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast.
Crocodiles sunning themselves on the mud banks below are also visible from the bridge.
8. Karakoram Highway, China/Pakistan
Being well over 4000km in altitude, this is the highest road in the world and driving at such height has to be undertaken with great care and preparation. If you are able to do it you will be provided with delectable views of mountains and glaciers as you ride above the rest of the world on part of the world-famous Silk Road trade route.
Constructed over the course of 20 years it is 4,700km above sea level at its highest point.
7. Vitim River Bridge, Russia
An old rail bridge the crosses the Vitim river in Siberia, this single track, wooden bridge is more often than not frozen over and is especially perilous in the winter. In fact, crossing the bridge is considered such a high achievement that the 34 people (yes, only 34!) who have done it stay in contact via a Facebook page.
It has no railings either and is only 50 feet above the icy, cold waters running underneath.
6. The Zoji Pass, India
Located on the Indian National Highway 1D between Srinagar and Leh, this mountain pass runs at an elevation of approximately 3,528 meters and keeps the remote region of Ladakh in contact with the rest of the outside world but it is so perilous that it is often closed in winter as snow and rocks tumble from the mountains.
These landslides can crush passers-by, block the roads and cause major damage.
5. Guoliang Tunnel Road, China
The tiny village of Guoliang was separated from the rest of the world by the sheer cliffs that surrounded it and so villagers carved a route along the edge of the mountainside that is unsturdy, narrow and largely unmaintained. The area doesn't receive much traffic but the road is inherently dangerous due to the nature of its creation.
So high up, one slip and it is practically a guaranteed death after a sheer drop.
4. Skippers Canyon, New Zealand
A very narrow cut in a sheer cliff, its exposure to the elements makes it a slippery track, add that to the fact there is no safety barrier and you are in for a jaw-clenching, white-knuckle ride of a drive.
It is so dangerous that you have to get a special permit to drive on the road and god help you if you meet someone coming the other way.
3. James Dalton Highway, Alaska, USA
Seemingly serene, the Dalton Highway is a 667 km road in Alaska that runs through the icy wilderness in freezing cold temperatures that take their toll on the road surface. Filled with potholes, wildlife crossing without warning and prone to small flying rocks carried by fast winds smashing into your car accidents can and do happen.
The problem is then, there is no one around to help you if you do come off the road.
2. North Yungas Road, Bolivia
Known as 'the road of death', it is estimated that between 200 to 300 travelers are killed annually along the road as it is a regular occurrence for buses and trucks to go tumbling to the valley below, especially when they try passing each other.
Crosses and monuments to the dead often mark the spots where they have fallen which only serve as a further distraction to drivers and add more peril as more people insist on going up the mountain to mark the sites of the dead.
1. Rainbow Road, Mario Kart 64
A magical road built of rainbows above the planet earth, go-karters come together to race in the ultimate competition of skill and sheer luck as they throw weapons like banana skins at each other to try and make each other slip-up.
The high-speed corners with no safety barriers to aid your cornering mean that you have to be proficient in drifting to make your way around and few can do it without the aid of Lakitu, the floating Koopa who fishes you out of the sky should you plummet off.