- Rating of the best countries in the world in terms of road quality
- 10th place: United States of America
- 9th place: Austria
- 8th place: Portugal
- 7th place: France
- 6th place: Japan
- 5th place: The Netherlands
- 4th place: Hong Kong
- 3rd place: Switzerland
- 2nd place: Singapore
- 1st place: United Arab Emirates, UAE
- And what about Russia??
- Where are the worst roads?
*Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. This material is subjective, not an advertisement and is not a guide to purchase. It is necessary to consult with a specialist before buying.
Since the times of Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (and this is 1809-1852, by the way) we know that Russia has two disasters. But what to do with them – it is not clear, and where to get rid of them – is also a separate issue. While it is difficult to rank countries by the number of fools, it is possible to rank by the quality of roads.
So we’ve made a rating of the 10 best countries in the world in terms of road quality – so you know where to escape from one of Russia’s woes. The index of global competitiveness was used to compile the top.
Rating of the best countries in the world in terms of road quality
|Nomination||place||The country||Global Rating|
|World’s Top Roads||10||United States of America||5 5.7 points|
|4||Hong Kong||6.2 points|
|1||United Arab Emirates, UAE||6.4 POINTS|
|–||What about Russia?||2.9 GPA|
|–||Where are the worst roads??||–|
10th place: United States of America
The U.S. road network is one of the most complex and extensive in the world. This is due to the territorial and administrative division of the state. Highways connect states, metropolitan areas, and regions, and so on. There are no such major highways on U.S. territory as the Russian M4 or similar ones.
However, despite the complex topology (without a navigator or at least a map you can not understand), American roads are characterized by high quality of the surface itself. It is not made of asphalt or similar materials, but concrete. It is resistant to abrasion, mechanical influences, and bad weather. That’s why some American roads can last up to 40 years without needing major repairs.
Russia also has concrete highways. One example is the A-108, a federal road that encircles the capital. Unofficially called “Bolshaya Betonka” or “Moscow Great Ring” (MBK), it was built in 1957-1958 and has hardly been closed for major roadway repairs since.
9th place: Austria
Almost all roads in Austria are toll roads. But the money is spent right and proper. The quality of the roads in Austria is consistently high, despite the fact that some highways pass through very difficult routes.
Austria is a mountainous country. And that’s why highways connecting individual regions run through the rocky Alps. Road construction is approached responsibly, using technology that ensures a high quality roadbed and durability of the surface regardless of climatic and traffic conditions.
But when traveling in Austria by car, it’s worth stocking up on money. A transport card called a “vignette” costs 9.2 euros – and allows you to use the state’s toll roads for 10 days. Locals prefer to buy the right of access to highways for a longer period. For example, a “vignette” for 2 months costs 26.8 euros, and for one year – 89.2 euros.
8th place: Portugal
Score : 6,0
Portugal is called the “Sunny Kingdom” – and for good reason. The climate in this country is almost always hot and dry, winters are mild, and only in the areas adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea regularly sees atmospheric “cataclysms. Because of such conditions, Portuguese roads retain high pavement quality – after all, the local asphalt is practically not penetrated by rainfall, which freezes the next night: because of the lack of rain and frost.
Good quality road surfaces and mild climate make Portugal one of the favorite countries for advertisers. Almost 50% of commercials in which the car is driven along a perfectly straight highway with a soft-blue sky and the ocean in the background were filmed here.
But in order to feel like a hero of commercials, you have to get a bank card. Most of the roads connecting Portugal are toll roads, and they are paid for only electronically. The fares vary depending on the length and type of road section, the fare ranges from 0.85 to 13.4 euros.
7th place: France
France, like the vast majority of European countries, is also tied to a network of toll roads. And the tariffication is very interesting. There are not only toll roads, but also certain stretches of road that cost a lot of money to cover.
So if you want to drive over the viaduct of Millau (by the way, very beautiful) or the Mont Blanc tunnel, you will have to pay extra. The fare for crossing the latter is 45.6 euros one-way, or 142.3 euros for 10 trips. In principle, toll roads in France are very expensive – the minimum tariff is 3.9 euros for a highway length of 62 km. You will have to pay extra for longer stretches. For example, to drive 571 km along the route Paris-Bordeaux costs 56.2 euros.
But the high cost is justified. The quality of French roads is also good. Special construction techniques ensure the reliability and durability of the roadbed. That is why this country occupies an honorable 7th place in the ranking of the best states in the world in terms of road quality.
6th place: Japan
Score : 6,1
Residents of Japan, like no other country, need high quality roads. The island’s cold climate with consistently high humidity and suspiciously high seismic activity have a profound effect on the pavement. That is why the design and materials of Japanese roads are originally developed to improve durability, reliability and resistance to various external factors.
Nevertheless, there are not many cars in Japan. High urban density and the high cost of transportation prevent locals from using their own cars. There is simply nowhere to put them, not to mention the fact that to buy a car you need to work, work and work some more.
Japan produces cars primarily for export. And, like many other products, does them very well. This is why Japanese cars are known for their reliability and durability.
One of the interesting features of Japanese road construction is the constant innovation. There are areas that shovel their own snow thanks to built-in heaters. There are “musical roads” on which you can hear pleasant sounds when you drive. In general, the roadbed is made with “American” technology, i.e. concrete, not asphalt. And roads are built by private companies of NEXCO Group, operating under the aegis of the state.
A combination of “private approach,” innovation in construction and the need for maximum reliability make Japan one of the best countries in terms of road quality.
5th place: The Netherlands
Rating: 6.1 points
Dutch roads are a motorist’s dream. Quality, reliable, wide and… free. Yes, unlike most European countries, Holland does not charge to drive on most roads – only a few highways will “splurge.
The high quality of the roadbed is ensured by special construction techniques. The Netherlands is one of the first countries to introduce anti-road surfaces. Porous asphalt is applied to the top layer of the pavement to absorb and wick away moisture. Given that there are no drastic temperature changes in the Netherlands, even in winter, this technology is quite effective in getting rid of puddles on the roads.
The high quality of the road surface is also influenced by the culture of drivers. Most of the traffic in the Netherlands is calm and polite. Even in traffic, drivers do not pull over to the curb or the left lane, which is reserved for emergency vehicles (including ambulances).
The second feature of the Dutch, which improves the quality of the road surface is the vigilance of ordinary citizens and the rapid response of special services. If there is a pothole, locals announce it and the hole is fixed as soon as possible.
So the Netherlands is a prime example of how mentality affects the quality of roads.
4th place: Hong Kong
Hong Kong is practically an autonomous region in China, so it can be considered separately from the rest of the country (which, however, is not known for high quality roads – in the global ranking it ranks 42nd with 4.6 points).
The high quality of roads in Hong Kong is due to two factors. First, the expressway from Beijing to Macau runs through it. It is very congested, eight lanes (4 lanes each way) and highly sought after by locals as it connects several regions of China at once. Of course, the condition of the roadbed is carefully monitored.
Secondly, Hong Kong is the business center of China. It is home to the offices of major technology and financial corporations, as well as many other businesses. And it would be strange if between the skyscrapers there were disgusting roads with many puddles and other potholes.
Also, Hong Kong is a small territory. So it’s easier to keep an eye on than a big country. That’s why it takes a respectable 4th place in our ranking.
3rd place: Switzerland
It is worth mentioning that Switzerland is one of the most expensive European countries. A lot of taxes, charges and other fees make it shocking for many tourists. But drivers can rest easy and not worry – the money spent for toll roads pays off completely: the quality of the roadbed is impressively high.
So, when entering Switzerland you have to pay 40 euros (2820 rubles at the time of writing). That’s how much the “road toll” is. For 40 euros you can drive on Swiss roads for a year – even if you just cross the country and plan to spend here only 1 day.
Despite the high quality of the roadbed, the highways themselves sometimes leave much to be desired. Switzerland is a mountainous country, and a number of trails run along Alpine slopes. You can’t build multi-lane autobahns here in principle, so sometimes you have to drive on single-lane roads. For 40 euros, yes. But the view from the window – gorgeous, and no potholes, puddles and other potholes.
But gasoline in Switzerland is one of the cheapest in Europe. But everything else is expensive and toll. If you want to buy a sausage at the gas station and take a plastic disposable fork with it, you will have to “pay” 1 euro for it.
On the whole, Switzerland is not exactly a “driver’s paradise. But if you want to see the high quality mountain roads, which have no potholes and holes, it is quite possible to go to this country.
2nd place: Singapore
Score : 6.3
It should come as no surprise that Singapore ranks as one of the countries with the best road surfaces. The country itself shows impressive economic dynamism. Just a few decades ago, it was a poor country, even forced to buy drinking water from neighboring countries. Now it is a thriving business center, a city-state, a real gem of modern Asia, studded with skyscrapers, but preserving its amazing, authentic spirit. The buildings with holes in them so the local Lion King deity could fly to the sea are worth it.
Of course, economic growth is impossible without high quality roads. After all, highways are the “arteries of the state” that connect the regions. In addition, Singapore is a famous intermediate point, where you can go to other Asian countries. So there’s a lot of traffic here all the time.
Singapore’s services originally designed the roads to be resilient to high stress. Concrete technology is used here, which has proved successful in Japan and the United States. This material is characterized by mechanical resistance, strength and durability.
But it is worth noting that Singapore owes much of its honorable second place in the ranking to its expensive transport system. Here you have to pay for everything. For big roads, for parking, for the right to own a car. Money is spent primarily on maintenance of roads, so it’s all justified. In addition, the fare depends on the volume of traffic. In particular, for example, a private car ride through the city during rush hour will cost 10 dollars, and in a couple of hours when the load subsides – already at 2 dollars.
Such technology of charging for road use is implemented not only in Singapore, but also in three European cities: Milan, Stockholm and London. Besides, it is planned to be introduced in Moscow, and then the entrance to the center of the capital will be charged.
1st place: United Arab Emirates, UAE
Almost all stereotypes that come to mind when you mention the United Arab Emirates turn out to be true. It is the country of sheikhs who like to drive around in supercars. And even a tiny pothole can become fatal for some Lamborghini with 10 centimeters clearance. That’s why the UAE roads are perfect.
They not only offer smooth road surfaces, but also competent interchanges. This is largely due to the “youthfulness” of the country. While most districts and regions are only “in draft form,” it is not difficult to build a road network with competent interchanges.
The UAE has a near-perfect climate for road coverage. It rains very rarely and there is basically no frost, not even in winter. The most dangerous factor is the sand, which is carried by the wind and has abrasive properties. But road builders in the UAE have managed to cope with this problem, too, using a special composition of concrete to increase stability.
Thus, the United Arab Emirates’ roads are officially recognized as the best in the world.
And what about Russia??
Despite widespread public opinion, Russian roads are not the worst in the world. But there is nothing to be proud of. Russia’s roads scored 2.9 in the global ranking and are in 114th place – out of 137.
Other CIS countries also cannot boast of high quality roads. Specifically:
- Ukraine – 2.4 points, 130th place;
- Kazakhstan – 2.9 points, 115th place;
- Azerbaijan – 4,8 points, 36th place;
- Armenia – 3.7 points, 85th place;
- Kyrgyzstan scores 2.7, 112th place;
- Moldova – 2.5 points, 128th place;
- Tajikistan – 4,1 points, 70th place.
Belarus and Uzbekistan are not included in the ranking.
Where are the worst roads?
And finally, here is the list of countries, to which it is better not to travel by private car, otherwise there is a risk to spend the entire vacation in the car service or traffic jams. The last 10 places are occupied by Moldova, Mozambique, Ukraine, Paraguay, Yemen, Guinea, Madagascar, Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mauritania.