Probably every driver is aware of a road in their area which has risky features that might make it seem to deserve the nickname “Death Road.” But it is doubtful that many could compete with the North Yungas Road in La Paz, Bolivia.
There are many who claim that the North Yungas Road is the most dangerous roadway on Earth. It is extremely narrow at only 3 meters wide (about ten feet) and has frighteningly tight hairpin turns and difficult to navigate passages. Worst of all, it has no guard rails or other protective barriers to prevent you from plunging 800m (about half a mile) down a sheer cliff. To make matters worse, because it is unpaved there are frequent dust clouds in the summer that reduce visibility. In the winter, there is often fog and heavy rains that can cause mudslides and falling rocks.
The death toll on Death Road is considerable, with an average of over 100 people a year who are killed while trying to traverse it. However, the road has its defenders, who claim that many of those who plunge to their deaths are drunk drivers whose impaired driving skills has more to do with their deaths than the road itself.
Strangely enough, the road’s reputation for high mortality is actually an attraction for some drivers. Death Road has become something of a tourist attraction, with an estimated 25,000 people per year who specifically seek out Death Road in order to test their driving skills. Not all of them drive down the road, as some travelers prefer to go via the safer means of riding a bicycle. Death Road is actually uniquely well suited for bike travel, at least going one way, as 40 miles of the road are completely downhill. Still, bicycling does not make the road completely safe, as an average of a dozen cyclists are killed each year.
You don’t have to drive on Bolivia’s Death Road to experience dangerous driving. You could be driving on the world’s safest road, but if you experience mechanical problems like engine failure then an accident may occur. If your engine is old and in need of replacement, visit SWengines, the best place to go to find used motors for sale. That way if you decide to take a drive on Death Road, at least you won’t have to worry about your engine!