Driving a truck is a whole different kind of monster. A study found that trucks cause a significant amount of severe accidents on the road, and they account for about 8 percent of highway traffic in the United States. This is why professional truck drivers need a different kind of license and training to ensure that they always employ the safest techniques while on the road.
The reality TV show Ice Road Truckers: Deadliest Roadseven documented some of the most dangerous highways and places truck drivers can go. Thankfully, manufacturers like Volvo commercial truck dealers are always working hard to ensure that these heavyweight vehicles are reliable, safe, and healthy.
Here are some of the world’s deadliest and most dangerous roads for truck big commercial trucks.
Yungas Road, Bolivia
Aptly known as the Death Road, Yungas Road in Bolivia is responsible for approximately 200 to 300 deaths every year due to accidents. The reason this highway is so dangerous is that it traverses different climate zones in South America. There’s always a lot of fog and heavy rain, the gravel roads are steep and have no lighting, and the road is less than four meters wide.
The highway is also prone to landslides, and drivers are often forced to switch to the left because they have a better chance of safety. Thankfully, an alternative road has been opened, leaving thrill-seekers, bikers, and tourists to have the Death Road to themselves.
James Dalton Highway, Alaska
This highway is also incredibly stunning but dangerous. The purpose of the road is to help transport supplies, but severe weather conditions such as snowstorms and floods often make this highway dangerous for drivers. Because there are no services for more than 300 kilometers into the journey, a broken-down vehicle will have little to no hope of finding assistance from auto shops as well as other drivers, even during winter’s peak season.
Even driving through it in the summer will make drivers less likely to find help from other drivers because there’s even less activity and traffic during the warmer months. The combination of harsh winter and solitude makes this highway one of the scariest and most dangerous roads for truck drivers.
Karakorum Highway, Pakistan to China
This highway connection northwest Pakistan to western China is also often called the Friendship Highway, and yet it’s far from friendly to drivers of all stripes, not just truck drivers. The highway is known for having hairpin bends and deep ravines, as well as its knack for having extreme weather.
While drivers and passengers can surely enjoy the breathtaking views o the mountain peaks, temperatures can often drop to less than 30 to 40 degrees Celsius during winter. There have been about 900 deaths since its construction and opening in the late 1970s. It’s still a favorite for motorists, though, and about a million of them take up the challenge of traversing this highway every year.
Eyre Highway, Australia
Since Australia is known for its vast landscape and untouched terrains,truck drivers have mastered the art and science of dealing with the isolation and monotony of long-haul truck driving. However, the country’s Eyre Highway still provides plenty of risk and danger since it covers about 150 kilometers without one curve, bend, or turn-off.
At the same time, no matter how good a driver is at avoiding human error such as microsleep, they still can’t account for external dangers such as camels, kangaroos, and emus on the road that can cause severe traffic accidents. Another hazard to remember is that some areas of the road are also used by Australia’s Flying Doctors, so drivers also have to watch out for aerial disturbances.
Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China
This incredibly long highway that connects Sichuan with Tibet is famous for avalanches and rockslides and can even cause extreme car sickness due to its altitude and the fact that it’s on towering peaks. The hairpin turns, and cliffs can also be a deadly combination, which has proved dangerous for a shocking 7,500 fatalities for every 100,000 drivers.
While there’s no denying that this highway also provides some of the most breathtaking views of the area’s larger-than-life mountains, the changing climate can pose an extreme challenge for less experienced truck drivers.
Truck drivers provide a valuable service to society, and they owe it to themselves to practice safe driving. Businesses and state laws should also work hard to ensure that they and their families are protected should an accident occur. Thankfully, some commercial trucks are safer than others, and drivers can always do everything they can in their power to stay safe on the road.