World’s worst countries to drive in – ranked

The world’s worst countries to drive in have been ranked and mapped by the World Health Organisation. We take a look at the complete results

The latest report from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that road traffic deaths continue to rise around the world with an estimated 1.35 million fatalities per year.

WHO releases a new Global Status Report on Road Safety every two to three years along with an interactive map that allows users to assess countries against the following criteria:

  • Reported number of road traffic deaths
  • Estimated number of road traffic deaths
  • Estimated number of deaths per 100,000 people
  • Estimated number of deaths per mode of transport (car, motorcycle, cycle, pedestrian)

The map also includes a ‘death counter’ tracking how often a road user will die, along with the total deaths for the current day, month and year. Shockingly, it suggests a road user dies somewhere in the world every 24 seconds.

world’s-worst-countries-to-drive-in-map-legend
WHO WHO estimates the number of road traffic deaths per 100,000 people

Two different figures are presented for the number of road deaths in each country: the reported number and the estimated number.

The reported number is the figure submitted to WHO by authorities in participating member states.

The estimated number is the figure WHO arrives at once adjustments are made to account for potential under-reporting, differences in definitions and any limitations a country may have when it comes to collecting data.

Member states have the opportunity to challenge WHO estimates as they are usually higher, often significantly, than the submitted statistics.

“The number of deaths on the world’s roads remains unacceptably high, with an estimated 1.35 million people dying each year.”

World Health Organisation

World’s Best & worst countries to drive in

These 10 countries see the lowest and highest number of road traffic deaths per 100,000 people.

World's-worst-countries-to-drive-in-counter
WHO A road user dies every 24 seconds

Key findings

  • Liberia has the world’s most dangerous roads with an estimated 35.9 deaths per 100,000 people
  • India sees the highest number of road deaths with 150,785 reported (but 299,091 estimated) deaths occurring in total
  • Other countries with a high number of road deaths include China, Brazil, the USA and Nigeria
  • The tiny country of San Marino with a population of just over 33,000 did not report any road deaths, making it the country with the safest roads
  • The highest death rates are in Africa while the lowest are in Europe
  • Road traffic injuries are the 8th leading cause of death globally
  • Road traffic injuries are the number one cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29
  • Over half (54%) of global deaths are of non car users: pedestrians (23%), cyclists (3%) and motorcyclists (28%)
  • Road traffic crashes cost most countries 3% of their gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Further to the 1.35 million fatalities, between 20-50 million more people suffer non-fatal injuries
  • 93% of the world’s road traffic deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, even though these countries only have around 60% of the world’s vehicles

“There has been no reduction in the number of road traffic deaths in any low-income country since 2013.”

World Health Organisation

World’s worst countries to drive in

DP 100k: estimated deaths per 100,000 people
Rep. deaths: total number of reported road traffic deaths
Est. deaths: estimated total number of road traffic deaths (WHO)

RankCountryDP 100kRep. deathsEst. deaths
1Liberia35.91751,657
2Saint Lucia35.41563
3Burundi34.71123,651
4Zimbabwe34.71,7215,601
5Dominican Rep.34.63,1183,684
6Dem. Rep. of Congo33.738526,529
7Venezuela33.77,0281,0640
8Central African Rep.33.61931,546
9Thailand32.721,74522,491
10Guinea-Bissau31.1122565
11Malawi31.01,1225,601
12Burkina Faso30.58785,686
13Namibia30.4731754
14Cameroon30.11,8797,066
15Mozambique30.11,3798,665
16South Sudan29.91303,661
17Gambia29.7139605
18Rwanda29.75933,535
19Togo29.25142224
20Tanzania29.23,25616,252
21Uganda29.03,50312,036
22Lesotho28.9318638
23Saudi Arabia28.89,0319,311
24Madagascar28.63407,108
25Belize28.3101104
26Guinea28.24583,490
27Kenya27.82,96513,463
28Chad27.61,1223,990
29Benin27.56372,986
30Sao Tome & Principe27.52355
31Congo27.43081405
32Somalia27.11653,884
33Eswatini26.9203361
34Ethiopia26.74,35227,326
35Comoros26.523211
36Syrian26.57144,890
37Vietnam26.48,41724,970
38Niger26.29785414,
39Libya26.12,4141,645
40South Africa25.914,07114,507
41Sudan25.72,31110,178
42Eritrea25.31301,255
43Cabo Verde25.041135
44Ghana24.91,8027,018
45Mauritania24.71841,064
46Equatorial Guinea24.641300
47Guyana24.6128190
48Jordan24.47502,306
49Botswana23.8450535
50Angola23.62,8456,797
51Côte d’Ivoire23.69915,582
52Malaysia23.67,1527,374
53Senegal23.46043,609
54Gabon23.254460
55Mali23.15414,159
56Tunisia22.814432,595
57Paraguay22.712021,529
58India22.6150,785299,091
59El Salvador22.212151411
60Nigeria21.45,05339,802
61Ecuador21.32,8943,490
62Iraq20.74134,7,686
63Iran20.515,93216,426
64Myanmar19.9488710,540
65Brazil19.738,65141,007
66Morocco19.63,7856,917
67Colombia18.57,1588,987
68China18.258,022256,180
69Lebanon18.15761,090
70Tajikistan18.14271577
71UAE18.17251678
72Russian Federation18.020,30825,969
73Cambodia17.81,8522,803
74Kazakhstan17.62,6253,158
75Kuwait17.6424715
76Bhutan17.4125139
77Solomon Islands17.411104
78Cook Islands17.353
79Armenia17.1267499
80Tonga16.81818
81Costa Rica16.7795812
82Honduras16.71,4071,525
83Guatemala16.62,0582,758
84Lao16.61,0861,120
85Mongolia16.5484499
86Oman16.1692713
87Nepal15.92,0064,622
88Seychelles15.91515
89Vanuatu15.9943
90Bosnia & Herzegovina15.7318552
91Bolivia15.51,2591,687
92Kyrgyzstan15.4812916
93Bangladesh15.32,3762,4954
94Georgia15.3581599
95Afghanistan15.11,5655,230
96Sri Lanka14.93,0033,096
97Suriname14.57481
98Turkmenistan14.5543823
99Pakistan14.34,44827,582
100Panama14.3440575
101Papua New Guinea14.21581,145
102Argentina14.05,5306,119
103Mauritius13.7144173
104Ukraine13.74,6876,089
105Albania13.6269399
106Jamaica13.6379391
107Peru13.52,6964,286
108Uruguay13.4446460
109Mexico13.116,03916,725
110Timor-Leste12.771161
111Chile12.51,6752,245
112USA12.435,09239,888
113Philippines12.310,01212,690
114Turkey12.37,3009,782
115Indonesia12.231,28231,726
116Trinidad & Tobago12.1135165
117Uzbekistan11.52,4963,617
118Samoa11.31722
119Dominica10.9108
120Montenegro10.76567
121Romania10.31,9132,044
122Bulgaria10.2708730
123South Korea9.84,2924,990
124Egypt9.78,2119,287
125Poland9.73,0263,698
126Rep. of Moldova9.7346394
127Fiji9.66086
128Grenada9.31010
129Latvia9.3158184
130Qatar9.3178239
131Greece9.28241,026
132Belarus8.9588841
133Azerbaijan8.7759845
134Cuba8.5750975
135Croatia8.1307340
136Lithuania8.0192234
137Antigua & Barbuda7.988
138Hungary7.8607756
139New Zealand7.8327364
140Portugal7.4563768
141Serbia7.4607649
142Iceland6.61822
143Slovenia6.4130134
144North Macedonia6.4148134
145Luxembourg6.33236
146Estonia6.17180
147Malta6.12226
148Slovakia6.1275330
149Czechia5.9611630
150Belgium5.8637657
151Canada5.81,8582,118
152Australia5.61,2961,351
153Barbados5.6916
154Italy5.63,4283,333
155France5.53,4773,585
156West Bank & Gaza Strip5.3159252
157Austria5.2432452
158Cyprus5.14660
159Finland4.7252260
160Kiribati4.455
161Israel4.2335345
162Germany4.13,2063,327
163Ireland4.1188194
164Japan4.14,6825,224
165Spain4.11,8101,922
166Denmark4.0211227
167Netherlands3.8621648
168UK3.11,8042,019
169Singapore2.8141155
170Sweden2.8270278
171Norway2.7135143
172Switzerland2.7216223
173Micronesia1.922
174Maldives0.944
175San Marino000

WHO’s Global status report on road safety can be downloaded here.

More rankings and articles can be found in our remote work area:

► Most dangerous countries in the world
► Countries with the best healthcare in the world
► Most peaceful countries in the world
► Best countries for women
► Poorest countries in the world – ranked
► Happiest countries in the world
► World’s most powerful passport
► Countries with the fastest internet in the world
► Most stressed countries in the world
► Most expensive cities for expats
► World’s most democratic countries


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Lead image: Captain Wang/Shutterstock