Many vacationers arrive in Europe with plans to hire a car to see the countryside. A car hire allows you the option of sitting back and enjoying the scenery while another person drives the often treacherous roadways. Other tourists to Europe opt to undertake car rentals in each county that they plan to visit. With a car rental, you will take control of the wheel and decide which roads to traverse. No matter which choice you make, you should be aware of the most dangerous roadways in Europe so you can you avoid them or opt to drive down them for the thrill.
10. The Autobahn – Germany
Germany’s Autobahn roadway has long held the reputation of being one of the safest roads in the world. Despite its reputation, in western Germany, near the village of Aldenhoven, sits a one mile stretch road that has suffered from hundreds of multiple-car-pile ups, car explosions and high-speed chases, according to frenzied high-speed chases, violent multiple-car pile-ups, and fiery explosions, according to Car Lust website.
9. A77 – Scotland
Scotland’s A77, located in South-West Scotland from Prestwick to Glasgow, has a reputation for being dangerous and suffering extensive crashes. In an effort to make the expanse safer, a speed camera has been installed at the mile post 28.
8. A726 – Scotland
The A726 in Scotland has claimed over 40 fatal collisions since 2008. Stretching for only four miles, the road has become the most dangerous roadway in Scotland.
7. Splugen Pass – Italy
Italy’s Splugen Pass sits at an elevation of over 6,900 feet. A boundary between Lepontine and Rhaaetian Alps, the mountain pass has hairpin turns. During the winter months it is closed to motor vehicles.
6. Gothard Pass – Switzerland
Gothard Pass of Switzerland runs from Airolo to Goschenen. The pass offers breathtaking views and hairpin turns. You will have to take your time to drive the windy road. The pass has numerous tunnels and the historic Devil’s bridge.
5. Grimsel Pass – Switzerland
Switzerland’s Grimsel Pass is often referred to as the world’s most insane road. It runs from the Valais to the Haslital in the canton of Bern. The roadway winds beside granite cliffs, power plants and lakes. It has a gradient of 106 percent which makes it one of the steepest roads in the world. The road will take you through tunnels and offer panoramic views of the countryside.
4. Lysebotn Road – Norway
Norway’s Lysebotn Road has 27 hairpin switchbacks. Some of the switchbacks occur in black, narrow tunnels. One of the road’s tunnels stretches for a mile and contains a couple of the extreme twists and turns. The roadway connects Lysebotn to Sirdal and spans approximately 94 miles. It is open each year from May to October. If the winter has been extreme, the road’s opening may be delayed. Because of the road’s high altitude — its elevation tops 3050 feet — snow usually remains along the roadway well into the summer months. You should take your time when driving the road. It usually takes over an hour to safely traverse its expanse. Along the way you will find restaurants, toilet facilities and turnouts.
3. Trollstigen Road – Norway
Norway’s exceptionally narrow Trollstigen road suffers annual rock falls which make it exceptionally dangerous. Despite its dangers, the road draws tourists each year. Known as the Troll’s Ladder, the road has 11 hairpin turns as it climbs to Stigrora. The road is cut through straight rock or suspended by stone walls. A stone bridge crosses the Stigfossen waterfall. At the road’s end, you will find a restaurant and viewpoint. During the winter months, the road is closed. It opens in May or early June and remains open until October.
2. Several Roads in England
Four roads in England stand out as deadly and dangerous: the A62, the A1079, A683 and the A54. The The A1079 connects York with Kingston. It suffers from ongoing serious collisions each year. The A62 connects Manchester with Leeds. The expanse between Diggle to Huddersfield, Yorkshire suffers the greatest number of collisions each year. The A683 junctions with 34 on the M6 to Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria. The location of the junction suffers the most severe collisions each year. The A54 has the reputation of being the second deadliest expanse in England. The road runs from Chester in Cheshire to Buxton in Derbyshire. The expanse of A682 between junction 13 of the M65 and Long Preston has claimed over 100 fatalities since 2001. Regular collisions occur on the road and collisions with pedestrians or bicyclists. People also collide with roadside objects while driving along its length. Even motorcyclists frequently wreck on the road.
1. Perdikaki Road – Greece
Greece’s Perdikaki Road connects Patiopoulo and Perdikaki. If your attention strays for a second, you may pay with your life. The road is covered in potholes and rocks. When it rains, the road’s gravel expanse becomes slippery. The gravel road provides very little grip for the tires. There are also no lines that designate where one lane ends and other begins. You will also have no warning about when the road will drop away suddenly. The road is regularly congested with cars and pedestrians. The other motorists regularly take extreme risks such as driving to fast or passing. Livestock also freely roam and can wander onto the road. The road falls away and becomes exceptionally steep. Numerous grades also occur. The hairpin curves make it even more hazardous. Drop-offs occur on both sides of the road. If the car turns even slightly it can plunge off the road’s side with fatal results. Along the entire road’s distance there are no barriers. During windy days, visibility is difficult because the road becomes exceptionally dusty.
If you opt to have a car for hire take you along Europe’s numerous dangerous roadways, you should check on the driver’s credentials to make sure he has experience driving in the regions. Remember, you are putting your life in the driver’s hands so you will want to make sure that he has ample experience.
Car rentals may not have insurance. You should make sure the car you went has insurance, either through your credit card company or through the car rental agency. Even a small fender bender on a dangerous road can be financially devastating without insurance.
Driving through the numerous countries of Europe can be a dream vacation if you take the time to research the various roads and plan your trip accordingly.
Steven Hampshire is the content director for CarRentals.co.uk. He loves travel and touring in automobiles, so there really is no better job in the world for him and he knows it.