UNESCAP Transport Division revealed that at least one person is killed on the road every 40 seconds in the Asia-Pacific region. The recent tragic death of a student whose car plunged into the sea from the Penang Bridge after being hit by a speeding vehicle reinforces the notion that most car accidents are the result of human error.
The best way to reduce the risk of being a victim of an accident is to practise safe driving behaviour. Even if you’ve been behind the wheel for decades, it’s a good idea to review some basic rules for safe driving. Of course, getting to know and understanding your immediate environment helps too.
Here are some of the world’s most infamous roads:
Karakoram Highway: Cutting through the most mountainous region in the world, this path is plagued with various hazards like rock falls, landslides, avalanches and flooding.
Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China: The road was built between 1950 and 1954 and since then thousands of people have died every year while travelling on it.
James Dalton Highway, Alaska: The highway is over 670km long, paved in places, but about three-quarters of it is not. Anyone travelling the road is advised to bring survival gear.
Zoji Pass, India: It’s a dirt road with no guardrails or traffic signs and where landslides are a continual problem. Plus, the road zigzags among craggy peaks at over 11,000 feet at its highest elevation.
North Yungas Road, Bolivia: Popularly known as the Road of Death, this path is a 60km, one-lane road featuring vertical drops of as much as 3,000 feet into the Amazon rainforest below.
On the flipside, here are the five safest countries to drive in:
Sweden: There were only 272 traffic-related victims reported back in 2015. Although that number is still high, it’s much lower than most countries.
Norway: One reason Norway is safer may be due to the Norwegians themselves. They don’t seem to be particularly aggressive drivers, as reported by the Norwegian Council for Road Safety.
The Maldives: It’s considered to have the world’s lowest number of road-crash fatalities, which makes it one of the safest places to drive.
Micronesia: In 2015 alone, there were only two recorded victims resulting from traffic-related accidents. Still impressive for a small country.
San Marino: It’s known to be one of the safest places for one to cruise around.
This article is an excerpt from UNRESERVED’s April 2019 issue from the article DEFENSIVE DRIVING 101.