Skip to Content

These Are The 7 Most Dangerous Countries In The World To Drive

Share The Article

Last Updated

Data interpreters hired by The Swiftest have ranked the top 7 most dangerous countries to drive, based on the latest road traffic statistics compiled across the world's most-visited destinations. Interestingly, the least safe of them all is one of America's favorite sunny hotspots, set to host a record number of tourists this winter.

Busy Main Road In Santo Domingo, Capital City Of The Dominican Republic, Latin America

A majority of destinations in the Western World have an excellent network of buses and trains, allowing visitors to reach all of the most popular hotspots without having to drive, or even fly, but a far greater number in the Global South relies on underfunded public transportation, and poorly-planned road systems to ensure the movement of people.

In certain locations, renting a car is the only viable option, but driving in a paradise island, as scenic as it may be, does not come without risks:

The Most Dangerous Country For Driving Is A Highly Sought-After Caribbean Retreat

Aerial View Of Beautiful Caribbean Resort In The Dominican Republic

In order to compile their list, The Swiftest compared ‘seven different factors' for 50 of the world's leading destinations, reflecting a country's social well-being, infrastructure and safety. All factors were calculated based on the rate of occurrence of select adverse events per 100.000 residents, gathered from widely accepted official sources.

The rates for homicide, for instance, were extracted from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, while road traffic fatality data are attributed to the World Health Organization's (WHO) latest estimates. In assessing road safety, the company adopted a grading system from A+ to F – A+ being the safest, F the ‘deadliest'.

Top 5 Travel Insurance Plans For 2023 Starting At $10 Per Week

Easily Earn Points For Free Travel

Busy Highway In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Middle East

In total, seven countries were graded ‘F', led by one of America's favorite Caribbean retreats:

  1. Dominican Republic – 64.6 per 100.000 inhabitants
  2. Saudi Arabia – 35.9
  3. Thailand – 32.2
  4. Vietnam – 30.6
  5. Malaysia – 22.5
  6. Iran – 21.5
  7. South Africa – 22.2

Traffic Related Fatalities Are Surprisingly Common In The Dominican Republic

Busy Road In Sosua, Dominican Republic, Latin America

With a lead of 28.7 points, the Dominican Republic (DR) is the most dangerous country for driving, being named by WHO the worst for traffic accidents per inhabitant in the world. According to the entity, the leading cause of death in people aged 15 to 29 in the DR is fatal car collisions, surpassing figures for at least three underdeveloped African countries.

In the DR, the annual deaths related to traffic average 3,000, a higher rate than those of Zimbabwe, Liberia and Eritrea, and even Venezuela, a fellow Latin American partner. None of these are enlisted by The Swiftest, as their focus is popular tourist destinations. Due to the their low, or unavailable tourism figures, they do not feature here.

Aerial View Of Cabeza De Toro Beach, Dominican Republic, Caribbean Sea

Other countries on the list include the trendy Saudi Arabia, an overtouristed Thailand, Vietnam, ranking at number four for traffic-related deaths in spite of its status as one of the safest Southeast Asian countries to visit – at least when it comes to violence and petty crimes – and South Africa, where the death rate is 22.2 per 100.000 inhabitants.

Safety Tips For Driving In The Dominican Republic

Driver Adjusting Air In Vehicle As He Struck By Sunlight

Although most foreign visitors to the DR will not leave their point of entry, be it La Romana, Puerto Plata or the luxurious hub of Punta Cana, those who do wish to explore more off path gems in the Hispaniola nation must take their chances in local buses, which may have limited frequency, or not arrive on time, or of course, arrange private transportation.

The country allows Americans to rent a car in the country upon presentation of a valid state-issued driver's license, yet these rules must be respected in order to avoid run-ins with the local police:

Policeman Gives Driver A Ticket
  • Driving on the right-hand side of the road
  • Ensuring that all passengers wear seat belts for the duration of the journey
  • Keeping blood alcohol levels below 0.10%
  • Not using a mobile phone when driving, unless the car is equipped with a hands-free system

Pretty standard advice, and in general, renting cars in the DR is perfectly safe as long as it's a reliable car rental company. Checking Google reviews in advance, as well as contacting your travel agent ahead of booking is advised. Nevertheless, Americans should be cautious when driving on some of the busiest roads, such as the Autovia del Este.

Aerial View Of Punta Cana Beach, Dominican Republic, Caribbean Sea (1)

The Autovia connects the capital city of Santo Domingo to Punta Cana and the touristy East coast, and heavy traffic is expected over the winter period. Getting insured for accidents is still the smartest thing to do when traveling to the Dominican Republic, especially if you're planning on driving between different cities.

What Are The Safest Countries For Driving?

Among those countries graded ‘A+' or ‘A', or the safest to drive, we have:

Modern Marina Of The City State Of Singapore Lit Up At Night, Asia
  1. Singapore 2.1 deaths per 100.000 people
  2. Switzerland – 2.3
  3. Ireland/ Sweden – 3.1
  4. United Kingdom – 3.2
  5. Japan – 3.6
  6. Denmark – 3.7
  7. Germany – 3.8
  8. Israel / Spain – 3.9
  9. Netherlands – 4.0
  10. Australia / Austria – 4.9

↓ Elevate Your Travel↓

Sign Up Now For Travel Off Path Premium! No ads, VIP Content, Personal Travel Concierge, Huge Savings, Daily Deals, Members Forum & More!

✈️Join Our Travel Off Path Community Forum: Where travelers unite, ask questions, share experiences and even find like-minded travel buddies!


Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.

This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Health Freedom

Monday 12th of December 2022

Yeah I was in DR, they drive like crazy. but crossing the street is safe (at traffic lights)


Friday 26th of May 2023

@Health Freedom, When I was in Malaysia I found crossing the road was extremely dangerous