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03 Sep 2018
Lia Schopmeyer - Digital marketing executive at Lia Kelly

The 5 worst places in the world to break down


These are probably the worst places for your car to break down.
Let's hope it never happens.

Woman calling for help after car breakdown

Breaking down on the road – it sucks.

But while you wait for your recovery truck and cruise into the night, consider yourself lucky that you’re not stuck in one of these downright awful places.

1. The M40, UK

Length: 89 miles

Any motorway is terrible when you break down - cars are zooming past you and all you can do is sit there with your hazard lights on, hoping it’ll all be okay.

But the M40 was recognised as the worst of them all.

The problems are the lack of slip roads and long stretches between junctions - a perfect recipe for a nightmare.

If there’s a traffic jam, recovery could take hours and in some cases could be dangerous.

2. The road of death, Bolivia

Length: 38 miles

Woman on jungle road
Michael Fernando Jauregui Schiffelmann

If it’s called the road of death, there’s probably a good reason for it. Bolivia has this beautiful and terrifying scenic route connecting La Paz with Coroico.

The Yungas road is often dubbed “road of death” because, well, you can probably guess. The road is very narrow and there’s hardly anything between the road and the cliff.

If the 16,000 ft drop wasn’t enough, the temperature can get as low as -20°C, and at that altitude the air gets quite thin.

One lucky survivor recounts the moment the nightmare came true for him when he broke down on this very road.

Luckily his companion in another car was able to tow him into safety. Not today, Fate. Not today.

3.The loneliest road, USA

Length: 3,008 miles

Lonely road in USA

The exact opposite of a busy road is one that is mostly deserted.

With 400 miles of almost nothing between Utah and California, Highway 50 in Nevada is dubbed the 'the loneliest road in America' for a good reason.

Breaking down here without a phone is probably one of the worst things that could happen, think The Hills Have Eyes... or better not.

It’s no wonder the place was the inspiration for a Stephen King novel.

With large stretches between towns, make sure you have plenty of petrol with you and a fully-charged phone.

4. Detroit, USA

Abandoned building

There are a lot of terrible areas you don’t want to break down in but some neighbourhoods in Detroit take the cake.

Some even recommend not stopping too long at stop signs as it’s not uncommon to be car jacked. It’s ironic since the city was once famous for a thriving motor industry. Best stay clear.

5. Trans-Siberian highway, Russia

Length: 6,800 miles

Motorbike on dirt road

Stretching almost 7,000 miles between St Petersburg and Vladivostok, this road consists of smooth tarmac that suddenly turns to dirt road.

In wet summers this becomes the biggest mud bath in the world, and not in a relaxing, spa-weekend kind of way

If you end up stuck in the mud, just hope you’re not in the middle of the journey. It's over 3,000 miles in either direction is no easy feat for recovery.

Don't let your inner Mad Max come out.

First published on 23 June 2015


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