View Full Version : Scariest place to drive.

22nd Apr 2004, 20:04
I have just spent a few days in Mumbai, and my employer very thoughtfully supplied us with a hire car. It was most definately the most, er, "invigorating" driving experience of my life. Among other things, I had to take evasive action to avoid 24 inch deep potholes, and various extemporaneous games of cricket (the day they won the series with Pakistan) that were being played in the middle of really quite busy streets. The horn is used as a command instrument, and the only hard and fast rule is that Bigger has right of way. The funny thing is, I felt quite comfortable. There was never any sense that anything that you did would result in"Road Rage", as the most blatant cut-ups drew no more response than a mildly remonstrative wave from the drivers window.(oh, and lots of bleeping). Another thing, is that the ubiquitous Austin 7 taxis have a miraculous ability to morph into spaces that you would swear were too narrow to allow them to pass, though one bloke did have to fold his mirror in before he squeezed past me.
All very educational.

22nd Apr 2004, 20:12
Couldn't agree more. Though once had the task of driving in Bahrain and found it a tad hairy to say the least .


22nd Apr 2004, 20:26
Once drove on a road in portugal that i believe has the worst ratio of deaths/mile in the world. Saw bad crashes every few miles.. it was a little worrying.

22nd Apr 2004, 20:41
India is probably the worst I have seen regarding crash/km ratio. Scariest place I drove was Baghdad a few years ago, following a local at night, horrendus speeds, weaving etc. couldn't let him go 'cos I didn't know the way.

22nd Apr 2004, 20:44
mini, can you discuss openly what your operations there were...?

22nd Apr 2004, 20:52
Not as scary as driving in Baghdad now though! (sorry, someone was going to say it).

22nd Apr 2004, 20:55
Scariest place to drive to me was England. No for bristish drivers. Just becuse the first 3 days I was driving in the wrong side of the road. My GOD that was scary!!

22nd Apr 2004, 20:58
Been told by my father that Moscow is B-A-D. T ogive it some scope, a Russian woman we know said that Parisian drivers are "so very polite".

22nd Apr 2004, 20:58
Peb; good to see you stuck to your principles for 3 days. The first time I drove abroad, my firm belief was that it was up to Johnny Foreigner to change his driving habits, not me.

22nd Apr 2004, 21:20
In an ambulance in Tanzania..

One of our party climbing Kilimanjaro had a (non life-threatening) breathing problem, which was better on decending, but the ambo trip nearly killed us...!!!

I swear the driver AIMED for pedestrians and taxi's, never mind the potholes and the cattle.... all at about 140kmh on dirt uh, roads..?


22nd Apr 2004, 21:32
It has to be Cairo. Took a taxi from the airport to Giza. Imagine the M25 at night, hardly anyone with lights on, three lanes, but because they have no lights, they are using the white lines to guide them, and sharing the 70 mph road with horses and carts. Thank god the hotel bar was still open when we arrived.:\

22nd Apr 2004, 21:41
Scariest drive I've ever had, albeit as a passenger, was in a Budapest taxi from the centre to the airport. This was in the communist days of the eighties and all the cars were of eastern European origin. Now I'm no car expert but I'm pretty sure Lada's were not designed to do the sort of things that our taxi driver was making his do.

Made the trip home in a Malev Tu154 positively sedate :D

Boss Raptor
22nd Apr 2004, 21:45
Lagos Nigeria especially on to the highway on the Babangida Bridge - just like a driving game on yr Playstation 2, game you, your driver and your 'Peejot 504'

22nd Apr 2004, 21:45
For me Rio D J, without a doubt.

22nd Apr 2004, 21:50
Try Casablanca,

Where Taxi drivers think they are taxiing a B747 and center around lane dividers...

Where anyone on your right has the right of way regardless....

Where stressed out divers honk at the slightest thing on the road...

Where when the honk is on MEL, they resort to high beam in any wheather or daylight condition...

It is still worse you just have to be there...:} :rolleyes:

22nd Apr 2004, 22:11
First time in Thailand was pretty scary. Me plus Mrs S and Torquelets went 25 kms by taxi from the airport to the hotel. On arrival I still hadn't worked out which side of the road folks were supposed to drive along! At one stage our driver overtook three abreast by driving on the grass verge on the WRONG SIDE of the road! Well, he had to, the pavement had a bus on it.

Five on a Honda 70 step-thru was an amazing but common sight!

Hong Kong can be fun, especially when you you know the turn off you need is across 5 lanes of traffic and having just joined that carriageway, there is only about 100 yards to cross them all.

Windle Poons
22nd Apr 2004, 22:17
Kathmandu during the rush hour (i.e. most of the day) and especially if you're three up in a rickshaw built for two. Which incidentally had no brakes save for the owner's flip flip on the front wheel. Mind you we probably shouldn't have been racing the other two rickshaws towards the Yak & Yeti, but a memorable if extremely frightening experience. :eek: :eek: :ouch:


22nd Apr 2004, 22:34
Sheikh zeyed road - ( however you spell it) in Dubai

But you tend to expect it in places like that......

but also try Amsterdam (if they still turn the traffic lights to flashing amber after midnight)

also Belgium - Nutters!!

Ireland - Quality Surfaces...litlle room for overtaking and far to many farm vehicles

and East London in S. Africa

Also the scariest time of my life, eight people in a car with a p****d driver (stupid i know - young and foolish!!!!) Driving up the mountain road from Chamonix to Les Tours - just like WRC on PS2 s**t myself thru fear and laughter at the time its just the sort of thing you read about in the papers the next day when it all goes horribly wrong.......


22nd Apr 2004, 22:41
Try driving in Birmingham in the evening rush hour!!!!!!!!!!

I just love London in comparison. The average Brummie driver has to be one of the most ignorant, obnoxious, self centred, and dangerous driver there is ! and I speak as someone who has worked in both the Soviet Union and the Far East as well as Europe

22nd Apr 2004, 23:07
Ssultana, I'm with the good guys...

Cumulus, too right mate, hence my departure, don't need the money anymore


Aileron Roll
23rd Apr 2004, 06:53
try Malaysia, very scary............. No lookout's, and "Must get ahead of that car in front" at all costs !

23rd Apr 2004, 07:11
There is a stretch of road that is supposed to be in the Guinness Book of Records as the deadliest in the world, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, with some crazy number of accidents per year. I don't know if it's in the book but I do know it's dangerous.

Every risk factor you can think of is present in Lagos traffic. Vehicles in poor condition (defective steering and no brakes, for instance), drivers who literally bought their driving licenses, drivers under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, poor to very poor to virtually non-existent roads, the virtual absence of law enforcement.... You name it and Lagos has it!

And the rest of the country is not a whole lot better. I used to work for a German company, when a significant amount of my time was spent flying road accident victims around.

One that sticks in my mind was a group of German teachers who had come over on a visit to a colleague. Their mini-bus was in a heavy collision with a 504 pickup that made a sudden u-turn in front of them. I had to fly them back to Lagos with an assortment of fractures, lacerations, abrasions and contusions.

The guy sat next to me was burbling away about what a great time they had had. I looked over at him thinking he looked as though he had been in a hatchet fight without his hatchet, all smeared with blood and dirt, black and blue and stinking to high heaven... I wondered what it would have taken to make him even happier, a broken neck? Ugh!

I had guys with broken backs, legs, arms, one guy with an elbow that got pulped from having it hung out the window when someone rammed him side-on; it was pretty grim work!

And, of course, I also had a couple of guys all boxed up, after their Range Rover blew a tire and rolled.

23rd Apr 2004, 07:17
IŽd have to agree with Lagos too...In fact I wouldnŽt sit in any car without an armed guard there at the moment.

Ralph the Bong
23rd Apr 2004, 08:19
In Vietnam, there are over 90,000 killed on the roads each year, with a national population of 80,000,000.

A large part of the problem is that Vietnamese have no sense of danger. Going thru red lights, using incorrect side of the road, no indicators or licences, drunk driving/riding, no helmets on motorcycles, relying on the other persons brakes, tailgating, not looking where your going, sending SMSs whilst riding..I've seen it all. I am not describing isolated instances here, THIS IS THE STANDARD OF THE AVERAGE VN ROAD USER.

I've seen 5 people killed on the roads in 16 months. The worst was a big black Landcruer that was weaving in and out of traffic on the highway overtook someone on a blind corner and then pulled back due to oncoming traffic and hit a motor cycle with three(3) men on it, The bike went under the wheels of a following truck and all 3 men were killed.

The Landcruiser kept going, of course..:suspect:

23rd Apr 2004, 08:28

Where it does not matter whether you learnt to drive on the left or right hand of the road cause they drive on both sides. Horn is the only serviceable piece of equipment needed and the driving ethics are I have right of way all the time so you have to avoid me .

Scary especially if you are a pedestrian :E

23rd Apr 2004, 08:31
The descent from the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass in Morroco heading for Marrakech. I was a passenger in the second of two packed minibuses travelling at crazy speeds down the switchback hairpins that the road contains. One of my mates in the first of the mini buses was hanging out the window. We looked on in awe as he was so obviously loving it. Or so we thought until the first bit of vomit flung itself against our windscreen.

The two Morrocan drivers, I think ,had had a bet at the top about who could get to the bottom first and in the process scare the westerners absolutely witless.

Not something I would like to repeat.


Big Tudor
23rd Apr 2004, 09:59
Indonesia. Travelling from Yogyakarta to Solo City in a taxi. 2 lane highway with 6 lanes of traffic. Our taxi undertook a bus that was being overtaken by a lorry. As we ran out of paved surface the driver calmly took us along the verge, narrowly missing the line of road side shops1 :sad:
A friend described India as being one of the most intersting places for driving. He reported seeing large lorries with 2 young children hanging off the front. The answer, one was collecting the water out of the bottom of the leaking radiator in a jug and passing it to the second child who then poured the water back into the top of the radiator. Cheaper to carry 2 kids than to fix a radiator

23rd Apr 2004, 10:01
Bradford (certain areas anyway).

DX Wombat will agree I'm sure.....

23rd Apr 2004, 10:08

Winding mountain road, in the dusk twilight, we were behind another truck. Car overtakes us, another car overtakes him while he's overtaking us, and then I noticed another one overtaking going up the inside at the same time!

The three met in the same part of road just before a blind bend. Much horn blaring, swerving and braking, but miraculously no-one made contact. Unbelievable!

23rd Apr 2004, 10:46
Tehran in the late 60s. Traffic police there would remove your windscreen with their batons for the slightest misunderstanding. RAF detachments were eventually banned from driving themselves anywhere in the city. Went everywhere by Hillman Hunter orange and white taxis.

23rd Apr 2004, 11:08
my votes go to


23rd Apr 2004, 11:09
Agree with nearly all the above, but Singapore has not had a mention. In the space of one week I saw four bodies lying in various states on the road.

The worst was on Ulu Pandan where a female pedestrian was killed as she crossed the road with the lights in her favour. I will never forget the pitiful sight of her parasol lying in the road about 20-25 yards from her body.

I later learnt that the guy who had mowed her down was late for work. After he had killed her, he stopped at the nearest bus stop. His wife was with him and he told her to sort things out with police when they arrived. He duly jumped on a bus and went to work.

Even the Singapore cops were outraged by this callousness. They nicked him at work and he got jailed big-time I'm pleased to say.

Don't forget China. Saw a particularly vile sight in Guangzhou. A lorry had run over a bloke's head. The tyre imprints were quite visible on his (badly mangled) head. I'll never forget the look of surprise on his 'face'....:yuk:

23rd Apr 2004, 11:31
Don't forget China. Saw a particularly vile sight in Guangzhou. A lorry had run over a bloke's head. The tyre imprints were quite visible on his (badly mangled) head. I'll never forget the look of surprise on his 'face'

Have to give the road along Portsdown hill an honoury mention. Portsmouth has many young fellows with a fondness for absurdly over-accessorised cars, chunky faux-gold jewellery, and base ball caps. The horse-power of said cars tends to be in inverse relationship to the wattage of the sound systems.
Anyway, after an evening spent at such glamour spots as the burger wagon on the A27/ Cosham lay-by, these clowns have got into the habit of racing each other along the top of Portsdown hill, which is a rather dark and twisty road. On one occasion I had one of these idiots overtake me on a sharp bend, flying past me in a blur of blue neon and thumping bass.

23rd Apr 2004, 11:43
Scariest place to drive would have to be Sri Lanka. Have been there twice now, 2001 for a mates wedding and 2003 whilst trailing out to Malaysia. As with everywhere in the sub-continent all that needs to function correctly is the HORN. My question is how can it be more efficient to have 7 lanes of traffic and a tuc-tuc/ox-cart lane on a road intended for two lanes in each direction, madness!

Although Malaysia was funny as driving in Kuantan can come to a sudden halt outside the main mosque, people abandon their cars in the middle of the road and you cannot go anywhere!!

Hostie from Hell
23rd Apr 2004, 12:33
Malta ... they drive in the shade !:E

23rd Apr 2004, 13:04

spent a week there and our local office manager had the driver pick me up etc.

It was simple - he said there was no way he would take responsibility for anyone from HQ driving themselves around! Anyway, driver would pick us up 08:00 and drop everyone at hotels etc in the evening. All at around $20 pe day - so there really was no question!
One company took us to Agra to see the Taj Mahal as we had time to kill. Dehli - Agra and back in a day with three hours there.....the Texan sitting beside me kept his eyes closed the whole way there and back - he was terrified! Dodging trucks and those three wheel moped/taxi things was nothing compared to the swerving around a) a camel in the middle of the two lanes and b) an ox+cart coming straight at us in the "fast" lane at night with no lights....the driver said it was "normal" ox+cart were around before cars so they have priority :uhoh:

Loved taking people for a spin around the Periph in Paris and the Arc de Triomphe. Better than a rollercoaster and cheaper! :E

Bob Upndown
23rd Apr 2004, 13:04
My vote goes to Lagos, for all the reasons already described.

There's a saying in Nigeria - a Nigerian will destroy a new car in a matter of weeks, then keep it going for 20 years.............

The area outside our offices on Victoria island seems to be the designated 'car maintenance area' for the locality. It's fascinating watching these guys work (from the office window of course!) Whatever you say about Nigerians, their mechanical ingenuity in keeping those heaps of $hit going is amazing! I'd say about 90% of vehicles in Nigeria would be in the scrap yard if they were in the UK.

23rd Apr 2004, 16:07
And there is always the West Indies. Saw a taxi driver go after some kids with a machete because they were hitching a ride on his rear bumper.

23rd Apr 2004, 17:28
Of the places I have lived, Kuwait has to be the worst.

Two of the 'Kuwaiti Highway Code' rules I seem to remember are:

1) Do not get too close to the car behind you.

2) Do not stop at a red light until the car in front does.

there were many others but time has got the better of me........

Do agree with other posters that Sheikh Zayed Rd, Dubai can be pretty hairy........but Kuwait still gets my vote.

23rd Apr 2004, 17:34
Different kind of tension, but the Wolf Creek Pass between Colorado and Durango, NM, caught my attention. White knuckle. The highway goes up to about 11,000 feet, and there is no barrier between the road and the 11,000 feet.

23rd Apr 2004, 17:42
Have been driving here (Bombay) for two years now, yes it does get hairy.

But people who drive in Bombay get scared to drive in Pune.

Imagine that.

Probably because by a rough estimate there are around 385 million two wheelers - bikes, scoters, cycles - in this city of two million.....

23rd Apr 2004, 18:27
Blue Eagle. I agree that Rio can be very, very scary at times. However, I have now ended up driving like a local, and have grown to love the daily dice with death. Nobody ever gets road rage.

Riyadh is far worse, the drivers are arrogant and are not frightened if they die at the wheel. If they do, it is Allahs will.


23rd Apr 2004, 18:58
Another good thing about Dubai; traffic calming bumps on the motorway.:uhoh:

23rd Apr 2004, 19:07

Aircraft on Local Roads

21114. If a local authority finds that a city street or county road under its jurisdiction adjacent to an airport has been specifically designed and constructed, with the prior approval of the local authority, so as to permit the use thereof by regular vehicular traffic and also the take off and landing of aircraft thereon, the local authority may by resolution or ordinance designate such street or road or portion thereof for such combined use and precribe rules and regulations therefor which shall have the force of law. No such street or road shall be so designated for a distance of more than one-half mile from the airport, provided, the finding of the local authority in this respect shall be conclusive. Upon such designation becoming effective, it shall be the sole responsibility of the local authority to enforce the provisions of the Vehicle Code and all rules and regulations adopted by it upon such street or road. Upon such designation becoming effective it shall be lawful for aircraft to arrive and depart upon such street or road in accordance with the rules and regulations prescribed as aforesaid and said aircraft need not be licensed under this code or comply with other provisions thereof.

Added Ch. 537, Stats. 1963. Effective September 20, 1963.

23rd Apr 2004, 19:13

Another good thing about Dubai; traffic calming bumps on the motorway.

Drive a 'Yank Tank', you can almost ignore them!!

24th Apr 2004, 02:17
Mr. Davaar, Esq., the only Durango I know is in Colorado....

I think you should try the Rollins Pass road west of Denver. It follows the old Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad [DRGW] right of way. Much of it is shelf road - with trestles inserted where the shelf is missing.

The top is in the 10k/11k ft range. It is numbered as county road 80 from Winter Park / West Portal on the west side - county road 117 from East Portal / Rollinsville on the eatern slope. The Moffat Tunnel, opened about 1927, connects the East and West Portals.

Colorado doesn't have many guard rails since they would bankrupt the state putting them all the places flatlanders would want them.

My only attempt at the road was blocked by snow drifts in June.


24th Apr 2004, 21:58
As has been mentioned earlier, the dual carraigeway between Delhi and Agra, is Mad! We were doing about 50 when the driver swerved to the left to let three LPG tankers on our side of the carriageway pass us, missing us by at least a foot. Each lorry was doing about 30, and a gap between them of no more than 10 ft. If you know how good the brakes are on those TATA lorries, you will relaise why I decided to keep eyes shut and listen to music for rest of trip.

Sri Lanka is fine though, because every so often, the driver will get out and pray for his vehicles safety, not his passengers, so everything will turn out OK then. :rolleyes:

Beunos Aires is great for the pedestrian, especially when you realise though the lights say cross, anything turning left or right can cross your path, and usually does.

24th Apr 2004, 22:46
Seoul - they have electronic scoreboards around the place indicating the number of deaths on the road that day.

Dubai - all the taxi drivers seem to think they are F1 contestants.

Naples - total disregard for Stop signs, just whoever gets to a junction first.

25th Apr 2004, 01:12
My friends who were stationed near Lima, Peru, some decades ago said that traffic was weird.

Most of the drivers obeyed the stop or yield signs. The weird part was that many of the signs had been stolen, yet the locals knew where they had been and obeyed the missing signs. A newcomer was somewhat lost without knowledge of the now-missing sign.

25th Apr 2004, 22:00
Yes, BlueEagle, Rio is a bit hairy but not as bad as it was ten years ago. I think it has something to do with the bog-standard taxi costing costing twice what it used to.

I've not been to Mumbai but everything I've been told about it makes Rio pale in comparison.

In the Western Hemisphere, if you want adventurous driving, go to Lima. Pick up one of those right-hand-drive Toyota taxis at Limatambo, the used ones the Peruvian government allowed to be imported from Japan years ago. And hold on!

25th Apr 2004, 22:27
In my experience: anywhere in China or Philippines. Mostly because of alcohol abuse. Most scariest drive was in a Seoul taxi though.

26th Apr 2004, 06:52

last time I was in Moscow I was a little worried at the number of people who use to put a hand out of the window and move the wipers 'manually' whenever it started to rain!

26th Apr 2004, 09:51
Personally I think the scariest has to be the UK, and it gets disproportionately more scary the further south you go.

Unlike the rest of the countries mentioned so far, generally the cars, roads and driver training in the UK are of a higher relative standard. The scare factor comes purely from the unfathomable aggression of drivers who seem absolutely determined that they want to have an accident, preferably fatal, as long as it prevents you from occupying a space on the road which they want for themselves.

Why has the UK got so many drivers who will deliberately drive AT you in an attempt to cause at least one of you to have an accident? Or, drivers who are quite prepared to leap out of their cars and engage in physical hostilities in the street for the slightest reason?

No. Give me the 3rd world anyday. At least they have an excuse.

26th Apr 2004, 10:00
I'm glad someone agrees about Budapest. I was last there in 2001 and saw 3 accidents in 2 days, one involving a tram and a Kamaz truck. Weird mixture of communist tincan cars, brand new Volkswagens and BMWs, and gigantic trucks either brand new and western or brand old, even bigger, and Russian. Everyone drives like they forgot their medication for the third day and in some places the trams go in the opposite direction to the traffic!

It's a great town to take the underground...

26th Apr 2004, 12:09
PAULC.. Had a Russian eng driving me around,he used a squirty bottle and manual wipers.Temp was - 15c and snowing..scary!

Evening Star
26th Apr 2004, 12:15
SVO to central Moscow in a taxi is a pretty hairy experience. Furthermore, I am convinced the lower one manages to negotiate a price the more the driver will drive to terrify!

Continuing the Russian theme, once had an 'entertaining' drive from the wilds to ROV. Early morning departure, so taxi at 0200, then high speed two hour drive across snow covered roads using such ruts as existed to get around corners. Oh, and taxi was ancient Lada (probably zero crash resitance) with no functioning seat belts (and it is a grave insult to a Russian driver to use them anyway...). Aeroflot Don and their tatty TU-154's seemed quite reassuring after that.