When you travel abroad, the last thing you worry about is road safety. While many of us take precautions against theft or other crimes, we don’t often realize that in some nations we’re risking our lives just by crossing the street.
The most recent data available from the World Health Organization shows that on average 18 people per 100,000 die in car crashes. In some countries, however, this number is more than twice this amount.
Author Michael Sivak explains further, stating that in many parts of the world car-crash deaths “represent an unexpectedly large proportion of all fatalities.”
Whether you’re planning your next trip abroad or just morbidly curious, keep reading to learn about some of the countries where it’s least safe to get on the road.
With around 73+ road accident-related deaths per 100,000 citizens per year, Libya is the worst place to give a shot at your driving skills. According to WHO reports, more than 4,500 road-related deaths were reported in 2015. One of the most prominent ways to lose your life in Libya is being involved in a car crash.
This southwestern African country officially takes the prize for the country with the highest car-accident fatality rate. There are 45 car-crash related deaths for every 1000,000 people.
The roads in this country are particularly dangerous primarily because travelers aren’t familiar with the road conditions. Many of the rural roads in Namibia are gravel, which makes it much harder to control a vehicle than on pavement. There are also sand patches that can cause a car to spin out or rollover. Take extreme caution when driving on these roads.
Driving in Thailand is incredibly challenging. The country’s roads are inundated with traffic and not well marked or maintained. Motorcycles and three-wheeled tuk-tuks often weave illegally through cars, increasing risks for pedestrians and drivers alike.
Scooters and motorbikes have even been known to mount curbs during rush hour, making road level sidewalks dangerous as well. Use elevated walkways whenever possible and be on constant watch.
The U.S. State Department explicitly suggests that citizens not drive in Iran. This is because car accidents are the second leading cause of death in the country.
Why? Drivers tend to ignore signs, traffic lights, and lane markers. Since streets are not well lit, it’s especially dangerous to travel or walk the streets at night. Drivers do not usually lead to pedestrians and sidewalks are few and far between. These are definitely things to consider when traveling to this country.
Driving in Sudan probably isn’t a good idea, either. There are 36 deaths per 100,000 people every year. This high number is due to overall erratic driver behavior. Vehicles are often overloaded and lack safety equipment and most roads aren’t paved.
Some parts of the country do not have traffic signals, adding to the confusion. You’ll even encounter an animal on the road sometimes! In addition to sandstorms and un-lit roads, it’s best to stay off the streets here.
The U.S. State Department also warns citizens against driving in Swaziland. Drivers are prone to recklessness and speeding and the road conditions are not great. Combine that with extreme weather, large vehicles full of heavy cargo, animals in the roads, and a refusal to obey traffic signals and you’ve got a perfect storm. Think hard before getting on the road here.
Driving in Venezuela is not recommended not only because of the erratic driving of other motorists and poorly maintained roads. Carjackings are also incredibly common in the country. Robbers are often armed, so going for a drive in Venezuela could literally be a life or death situation. Keep that in mind before setting off on a road trip.