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6 of the World’s Worst Countries for Driving

What do Nigeria, South Korea, India, and Libya  have in common? They’re ranked as some of  the countries best known for the most dangerous driving. From road jams that make your daily commute seem like a dream, to sobering mortality rates; these are spots that might be known for a lot of great things, but driving certainly isn’t one of them. That being said, it would be a shame to be deterred by some of these destination’s unenviable traffic records—there’s still plenty to do and see. Just make sure that you skip the driving tour!

Driving in Nigeria is best left to the professionals. Or at least those with experience and a willingness to risk their life at every turn. The roads are riddled with potholes (some are terrifyingly deep and wide), making navigating your car without destroying your suspension a feat in and of itself. Road and traffic signs tend to be hidden (if they’re even there at all) making it easy to inadvertently go the wrong way on a one way, drive in restricted areas, or just wind up far from where you originally intended to go. To top it all off, many Nigerian drivers have no formal training, meaning that they’re likely to be making up the rules as they go along. Drivers licenses are a breeze to forge and fines for impaired driving are incredibly low. Not exactly a comforting thought.

Czech Republic
There are a lot of amazing things about the Czech Republic. Awe-inspiring architecture, bustling cities, fabulous food, and great people. Not so amazing? Their driving record. Stats show that there are 118 annual fatalities per million inhabitants and 235 fatalities per million vehicles. Not particularly reassuring but don’t fret, public transit is a great way to get around.

South Korea
It’s not so much the risk of losing your life in South Korea as it is the risk of losing your sanity. Roads are heavily populated with drivers who need to get somewhere fast. Roads are marked but many drivers prefer to chart their own course, meaning that there’s a good chance you’ll see a motorbike speeding down a sidewalk or a sedan creating it’s own lane. If you do manage to survive the drive, don’t expect to find a place to leave your car. Parking is notoriously horrible.

Uninviting road conditions coupled with traffic enforcement officers boasting questionable ethical codes make navigating Russian roads something most tourists avoid at all costs. 939 deaths per million vehicles (and 235 annual fatalities per million inhabitants) leave little to be desired as far as safety on the streets is concerned. Another reason to avoid getting behind the wheel? Incredible cases of road rage. Aggression and anger on the roads has gotten so bad that many drivers opt to install dash-mounted cameras in their vehicles. If you absolutely must get around by car in Russia, leave the driving to a seasoned expert.

Several factors come together to make driving in India a living nightmare. First, there’s the issue of sheer volume. There are lots of motorists vying for a spot on the road and they’re usually more than ready to defend their territory. That being said, you don’t only have to contend with fellow drivers in India. It’s not uncommon to witness animals making their way down busy thoroughfares, seemingly unaware of the chaos they’re creating. Cows are especially good at causing a fuss but thanks to their sacred status, they always get right of way. Add in terrifyingly crowded vehicles (read: people hanging off buses) and poorly maintained roads and you’re in for the ride of your life.

Continuous problems with substance abuse and a flagrant disrespect for rules of the road make for an especially unsavoury combination as far as driving is concerned in Libya. Traffic deaths rank third in the leading causes of mortality in the country, a statistic that is definitely worth considering before turning on the ignition. Add in unpredictable weather patterns like sand storms that lead to reduced visibility and you’ve got yourself a recipe for utterly disastrous driving conditions.


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