Deadliest countries to drive in!
If you’re thinking of travelling abroad, then you might be interested in finding out which countries are the worst for driving in or taking a holiday in. Depending on those you think are the most dangerous, the reality may well surprise you.
New Maps shows where the most dangerous roads in the world are as it's reported that 1.24million people die in traffic-related accidents each year.
Deadliest countries to drive in. (per list just compiled by the OECD)
(based on fatalities per million drivers)
9. Czech Republic
So despite what you might think about the UK’s roads and RTAs, Britain doesn’t make it into the top ten and in fact is consistently proven to be one of the safest countries in the world to drive in – alongside Sweden and The Netherlands.
The fact that the UK has such safe roads is partially due to the excellent road network and conditions, the high levels of policing and speed management (though this point is always hotly debated!) and of course the stringent tests that drivers in Great Britain have to pass before being allowed onto the road.
So why is Russia so bad?
Although Russian drivers also have to pass extensive examinations to earn their driving licences, it seems that there is a world of difference between what a Russian can expect to learn about the road while preparing for a test and what they actually find out there when they pass.
With around only 10% of their accidents being blamed on drunk-drivers, the other 90% seem to come from a combination of bad driving, terrible road conditions (in some areas it seems that the white lines that we expect to separate the lanes on a major road are worn away or completely missing) and a lack of policing.
The Government Auto Inspection (or GAI) the Russian version of the Transport Police does attempt to enforce regulations but has to do so with a small budget and old vehicles which makes it almost impossible. So until more money is given to the GAI it seems that Russia will continue to dominate the list of countries to avoid driving in if you want to come home in one piece.
In this crime-ridden, ex-Soviet state, no longer does the government stuff their Armani suits with rubles, but the vandals and gangsters. The Russian mafia runs amuck, there are more gangsters than police, and a Russian is assassinated every 18 minutes, averaging 84 murders per day in a nation of 143 million. The nucleus of Russian crime is stationed in the Republic of Chechnya, a region within Russia just north of Georgia. Prostitution, drug trafficking, and underground restaurants are arbitrarily controlled by the Chechens. Foreigners are kidnapped more frequently due to the higher ransom allocated. Crimes towards include but are not limited to: pick pocketing wallets, cell phones, cameras, cash, and physical assaults. From superpower to Third World country, think tanks are beginning to speculate if communism really was the cure for Russia.
Most Dangerous Countries to have a holiday
Afghanistan is the most dangerous country in the world to drive in. Keep an eye out for our noble soldiers will driving through Kandahar, but also make sure you keep your other eye on the traffic. See, for every 100, 000 people on Afghanistan's roads, 39 people die. You don't want to be one of them.
It doesn’t matter whether you are George Bush, Pele or Chuck Norris – you are not safe in Iraq. Despite its rich history and its oil reserves, it is a ruined nation that is wracked with violence, despair and confusion. Since 2003, the United States has occupied Iraq which has led to a civil war claiming the lives of more than 650 000 civilians. Al-Qaeda, Sunni insurgents, Shiite security forces, Kurdish rebels, American soldiers, Turkish troops and criminals are involved in a cycle of violence that unfortunately, will not abate any time soon. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFPs) and mines are a constant threat, as are suicide bombers who have slain hundreds. Kidnappings and random killings are reported with almost mind-numbing frequency. Since 2003, 2 million Iraqis have fled to neighboring countries and another 1.9 million in Iraq remain internally displaced. Depleted uranium used as armor-piercing rounds will poison Iraqi civilians and US servicemen for decades. Truly, a hell on earth.
For the average traveller, the USA is fairly safe, but the numbers do not lie. There are more than 200 million guns in the USA and more than 50 murders a day, 10 times the rate of Germany. Nearly 5000 people die a year in truck crashes, about 6000 pedestrains die on the streets and 31000 people end their own lives. The USA now leads all nations in violent crime and leads all nations with incarcerations now standing at 2.3 million. American citizens also make up the greatest number of criminals serving time in overseas prisons. Militias, hate groups and other right wing radicals all spread their message of violence and are known to throw around the odd pipe-bomb. The government is not much better, spending a whopping $600 billion a year on defense in order to contain the handful of nations hostile to it.
Any nation described as the ‘rape capital of the world’ should be one to take extra special care in. Although rape had shown a declining trend to 113.7 in 2004, it increased in 2005 to 118.3 per 100 000. Another damning statistic for South Africa is its appallingly high murder rate. The 2010 World Cup host is consistently in the Top 5 list of countries by homicide rate. Most crime is confined to poor areas but it hasn’t stopped gated communities springing up all over South Africa and armed guards protecting wealthy tourist groups. Farming in South Africa has become one of the most dangerous professions in the world. The murder rate for farmers is 313 per 100 000 – about 8 times the national average. And like anywhere, sex can be very dangerous in South Africa, where more than 10 million people are infected with HIV.
This small, densely populated and poor nation has giant problems. A civil war between Hutus and Tutsis tore the nation apart between 1993 and 2006. A ceasefire was declared however most provisions have not been implemented. Mass murder and mayhem compete with environmental problems as the biggest headaches for the people of Burundi. The list of assassinated leaders is extensive, and control of the nation has changed hands numerous times in the last 50 years. Crimes committed by roaming gangs and armed children are risks for visitors. Muggings, carjackings and kidnappings await, so you are advised not to stop the car for souvenirs. Should you be injured or harmed while in Burundi, you may need to be well trained, as local clinics have almost no resources to assist you.
While murder, rape and robbery may not be a big problem in this part of the world, the hostile conditions are. Antarctica is home to some extreme weather conditions, with the mercury regularly dropping below -60 degrees Celsius (-100F) and winds tearing in at more than 100km/hr. If exposed to this weather for more than an hour, you will most certainly die. Antarctica has no hospitals, no food to forage and if you get lost, not a lot of hope. Stay with the tour groups. At least there is a McDonald’s at Scott Base if you manage to find it.
Somalia is a failed state known for its anarchy, corruption, lack of government, and starvation. Travelers are warned against entering Somalia, the self-proclaimed “independent Republic of Somaliland” or even sailing near the Horn Of Africa. Pirates patrol these waters armed with AK-47s and will seize craft and hold crews to ransom. Inter-clan fighting has claimed thousands of lives in the north of the country, while territorial control in the capital, Mogadishu is carved up between many clans and warlords. Ethiopia attacked Islamic troops in Somalia in late 2006, resulting in hundreds of casualties and the internal displacement of thousands. Heck, if this place is too much for the Marines, what chance do you stand? Make sure your insurance is fully up to date.
Desperation, death and destruction are synonymous with Sudan. Terrorism is a mainstay of this nation, which has been controlled by Islamic military regimes since its independence. Some of the worlds most famous killers have earned their stripes in Sudan, finishing with degrees in car-bombing, rocket launching and genocide. Violence is rife in the Darfur region between government-backed militias, government troops and local insurgent groups. Sudan has been in open warfare with Chad partly due to the Darfur conflict. Since 2003, 230,000 Sudanese refugees have fled to eastern Chad from Darfur. More than two million have died during the 2 civil wars that spanned the last 50 years. Along with its bleak desert conditions, Sudan is one of the worst places on the planet.
For anyone traveling to Brazil, it is not a matter of whether you get mugged, it is a matter of when! Grinding poverty still lives alongside incredible wealth in a country that is riding a wave of economic growth. But with prosperity, rates of crime have also soared. Street crime is rampant in parts of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, and whilst many victims are left unharmed, having a broken bottle put to your throat for your bracelet is not pleasant.
The incidences of “quicknappings” has risen in major cities. This involves being abducted and taken to an ATM to pay your ransom. If you can’t pay, thanks to mobile technology, your family is only a call away. Along with street crime, organized criminal groups have waged wars against police and public institutions that were unable to be bribed. Prison riots are brutally suppressed, drugs and narco-terrorism claim civilian casualties and if you survive all that – the piranhas are waiting.
Brazil is a beautiful country, with sunny beaches, clear waters, lush rainforests, incredible culture and many other attributes that make it a lovely travel destination. Unfortunately there is also a down side, a dark side of Brazil you’re bound to experience if you ever go. Despite the accelerated economic growth of recent years, poverty is still a serious issue here and people will do just about anything when their survival instincts kick-in.
You could end up with a switchblade pressing hard on your throat and be forced to surrender your wallet and valuables in order to keep your life. Kidnappings aren’t unusual in large cities like Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paolo; you just get pulled into a car and taken to the closest ATM in order to pay your own ransom. If you can’t do that, well, you better hope your family can or you’re in serious trouble.
Drug cartels have a firm grip over the slums of many of Brazil’s large cities and the police simply don’t have the power to bring them to their knees, so you might be unlucky enough to find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time and become a victim of their crossfire.
Poland’s ranking is not a surprise. Its decades-old, mostly two-lane roads are poorly marked and not built for today’s heavy truck traffic. Last month, on the four-hour main route from Breslau to Poznan that is entirely over winding narrow roads, we frequently witnessed impatient auto drivers pass long lines of trucks without sufficient clearance.
Crashes were often averted only when vehicles in both lanes moved onto the road’s shoulders. Beware if you plan to drive “east.”
United Arab Emirates
Sure, they may be the most prosperous of all Arab nations, but you'd think they'd be able to afford some better road safety programs. The land of oil, excess and seven-star hotels also happens to be one of the most dangerous places to get behind the wheel, with an estimated 37 out of every 100, 000 drivers and passengers dying on the road.
Memo to the chicken who crossed the road: don't in The Gambia. Massive car pile-ups are so frequent there that officials created a "road safety week" this past November. The West African country has a road fatality rate of 36.6 per 100, 000 citizens.
Malaria a major cause of premature death in Angola, but believe it or not, car collisions aren't far behind. In the past five years, a staggering 10, 000 Angolans have died in driving accidents. Bad roads, drunk driving and speeding are some of the main causes of the country's road traffic death rate of 37.7 per 100, 000 citizens.
As if famine and overpopulation weren't enough, Niger also has to put up with reckless drivers. If you're thinking of cruising down the scenic African country's dusty roads, keep in mind it has a traffic fatality rate of 37.7 per 100, 000 people.
Okay, so chances are you won't be spending your holidays in Iraq, but if by some odd chance you are, try hiking everywhere instead of driving. The main stage of the War on Terror has a traffic fatality rate of 38.1 per 100, 000 motorists and passengers.
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
In 2007 alone, 2,138 Libyans died in auto-collisions. Among the reasons cited by Libyan authorities are excessive speed (oh really?) and poorly planned roads. Libya ranks as the second most dangerous Arab locale to drive in, with a fatality of rate of 40.5 per 100, 000 people.
Blazing through the desert in a jet black jeep may have looked really cool while playing Tomb Raider 4, but about 42 people per 100, 000 die on Egypt's roads. That just drains all the fun right out, doesn't it? Considering the country's estimated 6,000 traffic-related fatalities a year, some curse-happy Pharaoh must have a huge chip on his shoulder.
The Cook Islands
They're renowned for their friendly people, tropical weather and relaxed pace of life - that is, when vehicles are smashing into one another. The Cook Islands have a road death rate of 45 per 100,000 drivers and passengers.
With an estimated 48 road traffic deaths per 100, 000 people, the small, poor African country of Eritrea tops the list. Oh, they also don't have a publicly available pre-hospital care system in place, so try not to get into any smashups.
Its not the driving you have to worry about? Kidnapping is the main worry in Colombia. There were 2338 kidnappings in Colombia in 1998. Of the victims, 138 were killed by their captors. Ranked Fourth in the world for murders with 69.98/100000 in 2006, the popular targets are mayors, with dozens of them being slain each year. And of course, who can forget cocaine? Colombia supplies 75% of the worlds supply and thanks to Pablo Escobar and the Cali Cartel, paramilitary groups have waged war on the government in a bloody conflict with no end in sight. Even those working in the name of charity are not excluded from the frenzy. In 2005, 5 Catholic missionaries were murdered, down from 9 in 1999. Colombia’s beautiful coast and rugged mountains should make it a tourist paradise, instead it is among the most feared destinations you can visit.
World's most dangerous roads
Bolivia The Old Yungus Road 50-mile mountain road that connects Coroico to La Paz
Brazil Interstate 116 Potholes, poor signals and heavy traffic in southern Brazil
China Sichuan-Tibet Highway A rough, high-elevation road between Chengdu and Tibet where landslides and rock avalanches are common.
Costa Rica Pan American Highway Called the Hill of Death, the stretch from San Isidro de El General to Cartago is full of potholes and steep curves.
Croatia Coastal roads Adriatic Coast roads are narrow, curvy, and congested, and many lack shoulders and guardrails.
Ecuador Cotopaxi Volcan road 25-mile dirt road that crosses a swift-moving stream at the Cotopaxi National Park entrance.
Egypt Luxor-al-Ghurdaqah road Many crashes on this road to the Red Sea occur at night because Egyptians drive with headlights off.
England A44 More than 25% of crashes on the stretch linking Leominster and Worcester are head-on.
Greece Patiopoulo-Perdikaki road A steep, gravel road with an unmarked edge in the Agrafa region.
India Grand Trunk Road Heavily used by trucks, the country's busiest road is overloaded with ox carts, animals, bicycles and pedestrians.
Kenya Nairobi-Nakuru-Eldoret Highway More than 300 die annually in crashes commonly caused by speeding, improper passing and drunken driving.
Mexico Highway 1 A winding, narrow potholed road from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas that lacks guard rails, shoulders and road signs.
Morocco Marrakesh-Agadir Road Heavy truck traffic and buses and taxis that pass on steep, blind curves
Namibia Swakopmund-Walvis Bay road Heavy truck traffic and frequent head-on collisions when drivers misjudge distance between vehicles while passing.
Nepal Prithvi Highway Landslides and road cave-ins during the rainy season are common on this narrow road with heavy traffic linking Kathmandu to Pokhara.
Nigeria Lagos-Ibadan-Ogbomosho-Ilorin-Jebba-Minna-Abiyo Expressway A congested road with deep potholes and a median in disrepair that links northern and eastern Nigeria. Drivers may drive on the wrong side to avoid traffic.
Pakistan N-35 (Karakoram Highway) Landslides, floods and mud can block this northern Pakistan mountain road that passes through deep gorges and is a route to China.
Peru Kuelap-Celendin-Cajamarca road Narrow, gravel mountain road with sheer drops and hair-pin turns on descent from Barro Negro Pass to Las Balsas.
Portugal IP3 Steep, deteriorating road with no barrier between lanes linking Coimbra and Viseu.
Scotland A77 A winding single- and two-lane road in southwestern Scotland with varying speed limits and many fatal crashes.
Spain Carretera Nacional N340 A narrow Costa del Sol coastal road where drunken drivers and tourists unaccustomed to driving on the right have caused many crashes.
South Africa N3 Between Warden in Free State Province and the bottom of Van Reenen's Pass in KwaZulu-Natal Province, there's a high crash rate because of fog, rain, wind and winding stretches.
Turkey Bodrum-Milas-Soke road Winding coastal road without barriers on many stretches that's especially dangerous when wet.