The Ten Countries With The Worst Drivers

With the exception of Germany, the citizens of most countries take a sick sort of pride in having terrible motorists. Here are the countries where Jalopnik readers agree the drivers are insanely bad.

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Photo Credit: Alex Quistberg

10.) Vietnam

Suggested By: teampenske3

Why they're awful: Vietnamese drivers seem to handle Vietnamese traffic fairly well, which could almost be seen as a skill until you realize that a cultural need to disregard any basic traffic rules makes the situation oh so worse. For example, driving with a police officer attached to your windshield.

9.) Italy

Suggested By: stratity

Why they're awful: It wasn't long after landing in Italy that I was in a taxi going the wrong way down the road just to get past a line of cars in traffic. I would have liked to think this was an isolated incident, but I have never seen a regular Italian car that didn't show the scratches, dents, or crunched sheetmetal of multiple collisions.

The Ten Countries With The Worst Drivers

8.) Venezuela

Suggested By: ferli

Why they're awful: Venezuela has the cheapest gas in the world, which is something of a curse. Public transportation is provided not by buses or trains but the shared gypsy cabs called Carrito Por Puestos. They work like buses, picking up multiple people and travelling set routes.

The problem is that these Por Puestos are typically complete Road Warrior land yachts with the most maniacal taxi drivers the world has seen. Reader ferli describes the madness.

Usually [Por Puestos drivers] are people between mid-40's and late-60's with the car that don't have absolutely any respect for rules of transit. They use the car as if they were the only rightful owners of the road, disrespecting red lights, passing lines, or whatever. They can stop the car practically in the middle of the road to get a passenger and wait for him even minutes to arrive to the car without giving a single fuck if they are creating a traffic jam after them.

They prey in the fact that you don't want to be involved in a crash with an old Fairlane 500, Dart, Aspen or Malibu that's practically rotting away from rust and that's so already broken that the only one getting damage is going to be you. They use the car as a scare tactic. And I'm not saying the rest of the drivers here are good. But you truly haven't drove a car until you have faced one of these suicidal drivers.

Photo Credit: chamo estudio

7.) Dominican Republic

Suggested By: ridardofs

Why they're awful: Travel recommendations for driving in the DR give a strong and consistent message, as you can see on the US State Department website and this Lonely Planet discussion board: make sure you check your rental car for dings and scrapes before you set off, as the drivers are prone to make sudden lane changes, disregard stop signs, and be drunk. There are no laws in the DR dictating how much alcohol you can drink before driving.

Fellow travelers suggest you stay off the roads at night completely, and practice driving there on video games before you go.

6.) Saudi Arabia

Suggested By: ReggieDunlop

Why they're awful: Saudi Arabia is full of reckless driving at high speed, thanks to open desert roads, but that's nothing that you couldn't find elsewhere in the world. What Saudi Arabia does have is hagwalah, which is the most shockingly dangerous kind of street activity we've ever seen. We'll steer clear of the country as a whole, lest we be blind-sided by a Honda skewering sideways at 90 miles an hour.

5.) Nigeria

Suggested By: thebigbossyboss

Why they're awful: If you check the list of countries by road fatalities per 100,000 road vehicles, nearly every country in the top 20 is in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This video shows one scooter splitting lanes to find other scooter taxis splitting that same lane in the opposite direction. Anyone who's been to the country will recognize this kind of accident-filled traffic as just normal Nigeria. Be careful out there.

4.) USA

Suggested By: The_real_Hooker

Why we're awful: Let's imagine all the drivers in the United States. Take away all the drivers who are too old to see the road ahead of them. Take away all the teenaged yahoos who think they're Ken Block. Finally, take away all the commuters who are reading/eating/talking on their cellphones/doing their makeup/sleeping/texting/masturbating.

Congratulations, you're left with about five people and none of them live near you.

3.) China

Suggested By: SennaMP4

Why they're awful: We won't blame Chinese drivers for their traffic jams that last nearly two weeks. We can blame that on poor planning. But we can't ignore the thousands and thousands of hours of crashes uploaded to YouTube and a hundred Chinese-market video sites on road design. That's on you, people of China.

2.) India

Suggested By: SennaMP4

Why they're awful: I'll excuse this BBC clip from 1995 as Jeremy Clarkson being his usual hyperbolic self, but driving in India really is what you've heard. The drivers have little or no formal training, their horn serves as their steering wheel, and might makes right.

1.) Russia

Suggested By: Funda

Why they're the worst: You know how there are driving crash compilations for most countries that last a few minutes? Russia's compilation lasts an hour and a half. Street markings are made in the summer and wash off in the winter, leaving the roads open to interpretation.

Factor in a steady and high alcoholism rate, a high hit-and-run rate, and a general abundance of psychopaths on the roads and you can see why Russians record every second of their time on the roads.