Most Dangerous Roads in the World for Truckers
Most Dangerous Roads in the World for Truckers

Top 5 Most Dangerous Roads in the World for Truckers –
from the Ice Roads of Alaska to the Mountains of Tibet

Imagine you're 13,000 feet up a mountain, on a narrow pass with a sheer drop to your left and a solid rock face to your right. Thunderstorms could at any minute cause a landslide, washing away the gravel track you’re driving on. Or that you’re not even driving on a gravel track, but are travelling on an ice road, lonely and isolated, across the arctic tundra. This is the reality for truck drivers on some of the most dangerous roads in the world. Here's a round-up of five of the most arduous journeys truck drivers around the world can face:

1. Dalton Highway in Alaska
Built to service the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline in 1974, the 414-mile long road known as the Dalton Highway ranks among the most extreme in the World for its remoteness, dirt and gravel road surface and icy conditions.  Spanning Livengood in the south to the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay, the highway passes through just three towns – with a combined population of less than 100 people – meaning only three gas stations along the way. From the midpoint in Coldfoot to Deadhorse at the end of the road, this 240-mile stretch is devoid of services of any kind, meaning a lonely, isolated journey. Made famous by the television programme ‘Ice Road Truckers’ and the BBC’s ‘World’s Most Dangerous Roads’, Dalton Highway poses numerous challenges to truckers. Blisteringly freezing temperatures - as low as -82 degrees Fahrenheit - poor visibility and mammoth pot holes are faced by the numerous huge trucks that make this trip daily. If you love lonely, isolated and treacherous roads then this one’s for you.
Dangerous roads
A truck making the hazardous journey along Dalton Highway in Alaska
2. Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China
The Sichuan-Tibet Highway is the longest high-altitude road in China and considered one of the world’s most extreme and deadly highways. Despite facing some of the toughest driving conditions – from snowy mountain peaks, hair-raising hairpin bends and deep gorges – this is a regular route taken by truck drivers heading to the top of the World. Stretching from Chengdu of Sichuan province in China to Lhasa in Tibet, the Sichuan-Tibet highway covers some 2,412 kilometers and rises to altitudes of 20,000 feet. Drivers travel from warm spring conditions to icy, frozen mountain passes, facing altitude sickness, the constant threat of rockfalls and mudslides. The Chola mountain pass was considered one of the most dangerous sections along this highway, but this year China opened up the world’s highest road tunnel, in an effort to improve safety and the journey time. According to Tom McGhie of Easy as HGV, “Even with this improvement, the journey still ranks among the most extreme and challenging in the World.”
 Dangerous roads
Despite the dangers, many truckers use the Sichuan-Tibet Highway
3. The Pan American Highway, Costa Rica
Named the longest driveable road in the World in the Guinness Book of Records, the Pan-American highway, as its name suggests, cuts some 30,000 miles across the North and South American continents. The most perilous section can be found in Costa Rica, where a combination of poor road surfaces, mountainous terrain and wildly unpredictable weather conditions combine to make this a treacherous and deadly road for truckers. The road is so poorly maintained that parts easily wash away in the rainy season, making the steep curves and potholes even tougher to navigate. Rising to nauseating altitudes of 13,000 feet at Cerro de la Muerte (the Hill of Death), drivers are faced not only with freezing temperatures but also the threat of endless fog closing in just as the road narrows and descends through the forests in a maze of zigzags. Psychologically draining, this section of the highway is not for the faint hearted.
 Dangerous roads
Truck crashes are a familiar sight on the Pan American Highway
4. North Yungas Road, Bolivia
When you look at the facts, it’s no wonder this route has earned the title of ‘Death Road’. Extremely narrow roads, sheer drops of up to 2,000 feet and few safety barriers make this route incredibly hazardous to navigate. Linking the rainforests of Yungas with the Bolivian capital La Paz, this route is heavily used year round by cars, buses and trucks. Ascending to a dizzying altitude of 15,260 feet, the road quickly transitions to 3,900 feet and into rainforest. Adding to the challenge, truckers face poor visibility caused by dust clouds and fog and the constant threat of mudslides. The route claimed so many fatalities that in 1995 it was named the most dangerous road in the World. In 2006, improvements were made to the most dangerous section of the road, but it is still one of the most extreme truck routes in the World.
Dangerous roads Bolivia
Steep gorges, no guard rails and narrow roads on the Death Road in Bolivia
5. Las Caracoles, Chile
The Paso de Los Libercianodes is a twisting mountain pass in the Andes mountains. Part of a main supply route between Santiago in Chile and Mendoza in Argentina, the route is situated on the Chilean side of the border and is heavily used by trucks. Dubbed 'Los Caracoles’, or the ‘snails pass’ by locals, it is an incredibly steep ascent that includes more than 20 hairpin turns – many with no safety barriers. Climbing to a breath-taking 10,419 feet, the road is covered in snow for most of the year and there’s a constant threat of rockfalls. Despite the fact that it’s such an extreme route, Los Caracoles has a good safety record and has also been named one of the most scenic routes in the World.
Dangerous roads for trucks
Trucks resemble snails as they slowly traverse Los Caracoles

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