We all know them. They are the roads we all try to avoid. Sometimes, the music is turned down and conversation stops so the driver can focus. Other times, we add 15 minutes or more to our commute time just because we know we have to take that one road. They’re bad roads, and they cause frustration for drivers across Ontario.

What exactly makes a bad road? There’s the obvious, such as potholes, congestion, and construction zones with their confusing signs and unpredictable changes. Then you have roads with design flaws, including narrow roads, sharp turns, or shoulder drop-off. They can be found in major cities and in smaller towns. No road is immune.

For 15 years, players in the insurance industry have encouraged Ontarians to identify the roads in dire need of improvement through online surveys. The annual Worst Road campaign helps the province to identify routes in need of repair, helping to ensure the safety of Ontario’s drivers.

What made the list this year? These are the worst roads in Ontario for 2018.

Ontario’s 2018 worst roads

  1.  Burlington Street East
    Hamilton, Ontario

    2. County Road 49
    Prince Edward, Ontario

    3. Duckworth Street
    Barrie, Ontario

    4. Avondale Road
    Belleville, Ontario

    5. Eglinton Avenue West
    Toronto, Ontario

    6. Drummond Road
    Niagara Falls, Ontario

    7. Dufferin Street
    Toronto, Ontario

    8. McLeod Road
    Niagara Falls, Ontario

    9. Pelham Road
    St. Catherines, Ontario

    10. Lockhart Road
    Innisfil, Ontario


CAA also produces regional specific lists. Here are the top five worst roads in Central Ontario.

Central Ontario’s worst roads

  1. Duckworth Street
    Barrie, Ontario
  1. Lockhart Road
    Innisfil, Ontario
  1. Bayfield Street
    Barrie, Ontario
  1. 7th Line
    Innisfil, Ontario
  1. Essa Road
    Barrie, Ontario


The Importance of Good Roads

Not only do poorly maintained roads make for an uncomfortable drive, they can cause serious damage to your vehicle. In turn, this can end up costing you more in repairs and insurance premiums. Furthermore, hazardous roads can lead to accidents, whether it’s a car in a ditch or a collision from sudden and unexpected turns.

How to Stay Safe on Dangerous Roads

If you do have to drive on a bad road, it’s more important than ever to ensure your tires are in good condition and all of your lights are in working order. When on the road, be constantly vigilant of your surroundings, keeping your eyes open not only for potholes or sudden turns, but other drivers who may not be aware of the road’s typical condition.

It’s also a good idea to reduce your speed on a hazardous road, even if the speed limit doesn’t change. Remember, the speed limit is set based on ideal road conditions! If you’re driving on gravel or a slick road and your vehicle begins to skid, break gently and work your way through the gears.

Finally, leave adequate space between your car and the vehicle in front of you. Just as risky on a hazardous road as the potholes are the other drivers. Leaving enough space will help ensure your car has enough time to stop if the unthinkable should happen.

Do you agree with this year’s list of Ontario’s worst roads? Is there a road you may think is missing?