The winter high road
Routes best avoided when the weather turns
As we brace for the chilled winds of winter affecting most of us this weekend after an unusually mild Autumn, it also spells the onset of icy morning and evening road surfaces.
But what are the most dangerous winter roads in the world?
Notorious for their icy hairpin bends, steep gradients and treacherous isolated routes, it may come as a surprise that roads in England and Scotland make the list.
Drivers are being urged to avoid some of the most dangerous roads for winter conditions.
Analysis by StressFreeCarRental.com has named the seven most treacherous wintery roads around the world, where a single mistake could cost drivers their lives.
The rollercoaster like Atlantic Road in Norway sees motorists travel along the edge of the sea with high winds and snowstorms a regular hazard.
Road 622 in Iceland is often underwater and sections of the route are at risk from being washed away due to the extreme winter weather.
High elevation, isolated routes, steep slopes and narrow passes are all made even more dangerous in the winter. Avalanches, high winds, sudden snowstorms and slippery ice making these routes extremely treacherous for drivers.
John Charnock, CEO of StressFreeCarRental.com said: “Severe winter weather can see these already dangerous roads turn even more deadly for drivers.
“We’re urging all motorists to proceed with extreme caution if attempting to drive on these roads, but given how the weather can quickly make things even worse, drivers should avoid them completely.
“Some of these routes are even shut down when the weather is too bad and drivers are forced to spend the night in their cars.
- Coquihalla Highway, Canada
Located in British Columbia, Canada, motorists travelling along this deadly highway throughout the winter should prepare for weather surprises such as heavy snowfall, storms and avalanches. Some drivers have to spend the night in their cars if the road is shut down due to extreme conditions.
Image: Thanks to Wikimedia Commons
- Zoji La Pass, India
This unpaved mountain pass can be so narrow in parts that vehicles struggle to drive through. Extreme winter weather makes the road impassable in places leading to its closure for months at a time. Driving along the road in the winter often means passing through thick ice walls on either side.
- Snake Pass, England
Notorious for being one of Britain’s most dangerous roads, drivers along Snake Pass face even more hazards during the winter. The road has blind summits and hairpin bends, and heavy snow and landslides can force the road to close throughout the colder months.
Image: Thanks to Shutterstock
- Atlantic Road, Norway
Many sections of this road along the Norwegian coast are similar to a rollercoaster ride – with several dips and turns for drivers to navigate. The route can be treacherous where high winds could cause motorists to drive off the bridge. Unpredictable weather makes this road along the edge of the sea very dangerous with loss of visibility, high winds and snowfall.
- Bealach na Ba road, Scotland
Despite the stunning views, this Scottish road in the Highlands is a dangerous route for drivers to navigate. The isolated path has the steepest ascent of any other UK road at 2,054 feet. The narrow route is made even more treacherous in the winter with sharp twists on the ice and steep gradients of up to 17% with risks of landslides.
- Dalton Highway, Alaska
This 414 mile road is one of the most isolated in North America, with only three towns to stop off whilst driving. Small vehicles and motorcycles are at severe risk when driving along the steep slopes that reach up to 12% gradient, covered in ice and snow during the winter months.
- Road 622, Iceland
When the tide is high certain sections along the road are covered by the sea – making the route one of the most dangerous in the world. During the winter parts of the track can be washed away by storms and landslides and heavy snow, ice and mud creates extremely hazardous conditions for drivers.