The most dangerous road in New Zealand; Central Otago takes the crown again

Skipper Canyon Road, near Queenstown, has been rated the most dangerous in New Zealand. Photo / Dean Purcell

The infamous Central Otago road has once again been named the most dangerous road in the country, according to an Australian survey.

Skipper’s Canyon Trail may not appear on many fatal accident lists, but it is a whitewashed trek that many won’t forget.

The reason for its inclusion in the Australian insurance company, Budget Direct, is probably the latest global survey of the most dangerous roads in the world.

It reported that 1.35 million people die in road accidents each year, more than half of whom are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

In New Zealand, police figures show 320 people were killed on New Zealand’s roads in 2020, compared to 352 in 2019.

As of July 22 this year, 185 people have died, compared to 170 at the same time last year.

While the company found Skipper’s Canyon to be the most dangerous, MoT data collected between 2012 and 2015 showed SH1 on Oram’s Rd, Oakland, was the site of the most fatal accidents, with eight during that time.

In 2017, the Automobile Association designated the nation’s most dangerous highways as SH22 – from Drury to Pukekohe – where three people died, 19 were seriously injured, and 44 were slightly injured.

A report by the International Transport Forum showed that Covid-19 played a large role in reducing accidents in New Zealand in April 2020 – nine, compared to 35 at the same time in 2019.

New Zealand’s rural roads were the ones most likely to say goodbye; 257 compared to 91 in 2019.

Many of the most dangerous roads in the world as identified by researchers for an Australian insurance company.  The attached photo
Many of the most dangerous roads in the world as identified by researchers for an Australian insurance company. The attached photo

Skipper Valley – cut down by miners more than 125 years ago – was also described as the most dangerous in 2014 and in 2016 by Road Danger, but locals soon criticized it as “utter nonsense” as no fatal accidents were remembered.

The methodology used was unclear, as the company stated that it prefers publicly available road accident data for the highest road accident data. If not available, use “the most common route listed as most dangerous, with supporting data from local news reports.”

The worst road in the UK was the A1010, with a rate of seven accidents per million car miles.

China’s Juuliang Tunnel has ramps along its length, and there have been 400 crashes with a total of 92 casualties since 1992.

Singapore’s urban highway, the Baan Island Expressway, recorded 441 massive accidents in a three-month period.

In Australia, the Western M4 motorway earned dubious honors as it saw six deaths over a five-year period.

The deadliest road in the United States is Interstate 45, which has seen five fatal accidents per 100 miles.


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