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The World's Worst Roads

Sometimes you've just got to get where you're going, even if the road which stands in your way is not fit enough to hold a swine race. At that point you steel yourself and hope for the best. It's an incredible adrenaline rush if you make it to the other side.

Here's a look at the world's worst roads…

1. Bolivia's Road of Death.

Bolivia Death RoadNever was there a better moment to have sent myself to sleep with a few choice Valium tablets. Our bus was hanging over a precipice in the Andes Mountains and, as my horrified friends contemplated their death on the rocks below, I snored peacefully. Aptly known as the Road of Death or El Camino de la Muerte in Spanish, this road connects La Paz in Bolivia to a smaller city. It has a high fatality rate but some amazing scenery if you make it.


2. San Francisco's Lombard Street.

San Francisco Lombard StreetRoads in San Francisco need to be built on hills but when the hill is so steep that you have to to double back on yourself you should question the planning wisdom. Driving any faster than five mph on Lombard Street you could come a cropper. Has become a tourist attraction and just adds to the quirky charm of The City by the Bay.

Interestingly, this very road made it to the shortlist of our recent Travel Your Way Photo Competition. Why not take a look at the the winning entries, including our favourite shot under the 'Road' Category, click here for the results.


3. The Calle de Muerte in southern Spain

Calle de Muerte RoadIn terms of accidents the Calle de Muerte is hard to beat. This two lane motorway between Malaga and Marbella is full of people who are driving a lot faster along it than they should. Reckless locals, mopeds which shouldn’t be there and drunken tourists make for a horrible combination. You may even see people running across this road – actually an attempt to get to the other side rather than a morbid game of chicken. Just when you thought things couldn’t be any worse, there are cars which try to merge into 100 kph traffic from a standing start. Rubbernecking at all the accidents also causes more accidents.

4. The Col de Turini in southern France

The Col de Turini in southern FranceAnother popular road in mainland Europe is the Col de Turini in the south of France. The difficulty of driving this road has been recognised by the fact that it is part of the Monte Carlo rally championship course. Hairpin turns at more than one and a half thousand metres high are sure to have your head spinning. It certainly gave the Top Gear presenters a headache. If you are using car hire in France why not try a convertible or something a little sportier to get the best experience from this somewhat daunting road!

To many this could be considered a wonderful road and is not actually that different to the famous Stelvio Pass in Italy, which is widely regarded as the best road in the World!

5) The Judge Harry Pearson Interchange in Los Angeles

Judge Harry Pregerson InterchangeLos Angeles is notorious for its bad traffic and incomprehensible road systems. The worst of them all is a stack of layered expressways which make Birmingham's spaghetti junction look like child's play. The Judge Harry Pearson Interchange has four levels so make sure you known which way you are going before you attempt it.

To learn a little more about driving in the USA, why not take a look at our handy Drive Smart Guides. We offer a range of driving guides offering useful and practical advice on driving in the USA and many other countries around the world, which should make tackling any of the roads mentioned above a little less daunting!
Phil Partridge
Posted: February 24, 2010 by Phil Partridge 3 comments
About the Author -

Travel writer, car rental guru, Phil has rented cars all over the world and shares his knowledge and experience on the Rhinocarhire.com Blog. Favourite country to visit: France.

Last updated: Friday, July 3, 2020
I agree with the author. Thanks
3/11/2010 4:49:06 PM
I would scared to take a sports car on these roads, scary
3/11/2010 2:47:17 PM
Not a bad list but you left out Spaghetti junction. I find it hard to believe there is a worst road system that that.

Would anyone hire you a car in bolivia to go on that road?
3/1/2010 2:29:48 PM