World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Dead Man's Curve

For the song of the same name, see Dead Man's Curve (song).

A section of the 1915 Ridge Route in Lebec, California, abandoned when US 99 (later upgraded to I-5) was constructed over the Tejon Pass in order to make travel straighter and safer.

Dead man's curve is a nickname for a curve in a roadway that has claimed lives because of numerous traffic accidents.[1][2] The term is in common use in the United States.


  • United States 1
    • Alabama 1.1
    • California 1.2
    • Colorado 1.3
    • Hawaii 1.4
    • Illinois 1.5
    • Indiana 1.6
    • Kentucky 1.7
    • Louisiana 1.8
    • Maryland 1.9
    • Michigan 1.10
    • Missouri 1.11
    • New Mexico 1.12
    • New York 1.13
    • Ohio 1.14
    • Oregon 1.15
    • Pennsylvania 1.16
    • Texas 1.17
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

United States



An S-shape connector on the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, as seen on September 29, 2009, from the U.S. Coast Guard station on Yerba Buena Island
  • A curve on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles memorialized in the hit song "Dead Man's Curve" by Jan and Dean.
    • Some say it is located near the Bel Air estates north of UCLA's Drake Stadium going eastbound (not westbound as in the song). While an accident involving voice actor Mel Blanc prompted safety improvement, the curve remains today.[4][5]
    • Others remember the location as the curve at Evans Road going westbound (as in the song),[6] a decreasing radius blind turn to the left with a downhill entry. Maximum speed in the first half of the turn is too fast for the last half of the turn, making it all too easy to lose control, run off the road and crash.
  • A temporary S-shape curve on the eastern span of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge (part of Interstate 80). After its installation on September 8, 2009, to divert traffic as part of a replacement project, 43 accidents took place, including one fatal crash.[7]
  • A sharp turn in the shape of a "U" on SR 76 in San Diego County, near Red Gate Road.[8] The curve has claimed the lives of many motorcyclists.


  • A sharp turn on eastbound Interstate 70 near Morrison that is preceded by a 7-mile (11 km) stretch of a 6.5% grade downslope, which has been the site of numerous fatal runaway truck accidents.[9][10]
  • A high-banked turn on eastbound US 50 just west of Cañon City that is preceded by an 8-mile (13 km) stretch of downslope, which has caused several vehicles to go over the banked edge and wreck. [11]


  • A sharp turn at the end of Kapaa Quarry Road, which is a dimly lit utility road in Kailua. Honolulu County, that has claimed eight fatalities and is considered one of Oahu's haunted roads.[12][13]


  • In Towanda, Illinois, an almost 90° Dead Man's Curve on the original Old U.S. Route 66 was the site of many accidents; a number of which ended in fatalities. The roadbed was eventually turned into a park and walking trail.[14]


  • In Indianapolis, a curve on Interstate 70 westbound at mile marker 83.1[15] When opened, it had a negative camber on the right shoulder, and several truckers lost control and hit the a bridge abutment, losing their lives. The stretch was closed, re-engineered with a positive bank and with rain slots along the boundary and was reopened with a 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) speed limit.



  • In northern Bossier Parish, a sharp curve on Louisiana 157 (Hickory Drive), just inside the city limits of Plain Dealing, south of the town cemetery.[17]



  • In Marquette Township, Marquette County, Dead Man's Curve referred to a curve on County Road 492 (previously a part of M-15), where the first state highway centerline in the United States was painted.[19][20] Geographical coordinates:
  • In Milford, MI, Oakland County 42°33'37.4"N 83°35'50.0"W


  • Sharp turn on Missouri State Route 34 just east of Garwood, in Reynolds County.
  • Missouri letter Hwy A in Franklin County between Washington and Krakow. Geographical coordinates:

New Mexico

  • Near Mesita, a 180 degree bend in the road to the left on Historic U.S. Route 66 nicknamed "Dead Man's Curve."[21]
  • Between Albuquerque and Tijeras, State Road 333 (previously known as U.S. Route 66) makes a sudden curve near the I-40 overpass. This stretch of highway has earned its name because of the rocky cliffs on the south side of the highway, and frequent deer traffic contributes to its hazardousness[22][23][24]

New York


Dead Man's Curve in Cleveland, Ohio
Dead Man's Curve was constructed as part of the Innerbelt project in 1959.[29] At the time, Interstate 90 had been planned to continue westward on the Shoreway, connecting with its current location via the never-built Parma Freeway.[30] It soon became apparent that the curve was too sharp for travel at typical Interstate speeds, and in 1965, the state lowered the speed limit from 50 mph (80 km/h) to 35 mph (56 km/h). Four years later, authorities completed the first set of safety retrofits, which included banking the curve and installing rumble strips and large signs.[31]
According to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), the crash rate on the Innerbelt (which includes Dead Man's Curve) is two to three times the regional average for urban freeways, despite the reduced speed limits on the roadway. The department has investigated ways of enhancing safety on the stretch, including a complete realignment of the roadway to reduce the degree of the curve.[32][33] As of 2014 the proposed configuration of the curve as presented in the ODOT Innerbelt Plan[25] is still planned to be built but not until the mid-2020s.[34][35] According to a 2013 ODOT count, 64,720 vehicles travel on the curve every day.[36]



  • The northern terminus of Interstate 476 in Clarks Summit is a 180° turn, with an advisory speed limit of 20 miles per hour (32 km/h), created in order to access a toll plaza before the interchange with Interstate 81.
  • On U.S. Route 22 in Easton, there are several dangerous sharp turns that go past a graveyard.[40] (This is most commonly known as "Cemetery Curve" for that reason.) Streetlights were installed to help cut down on nighttime crashes; the lightposts are themselves frequent victims of collisions.[41]


  • A sharp, sudden turn on U.S. Route 175 (C. F. Hawn Freeway) at the interchange with SH 310 southeast of downtown Dallas.[42] After a fatal truck accident in 2008, the state installed additional beacons and also flashing chevrons to further draw motorists' attention to the hazard. As of 2010, the department of highways is studying plans to eliminate this curve by extending the C. F. Hawn Freeway westward to Interstate 45.

See also


  1. ^ Allen, Irving Lewis (1995). The City in Slang: New York Life and Popular Speech. New York: Oxford University Press.  
  2. ^ Algar, Selim (October 8, 2012). "Police: 4 Killed in Gruesome Long Island Accident: Driver Only Had Learner’s Permit". New York Post. Retrieved August 8, 2015. The site is so frequently the scene of horrific accidents, first responders call it 'Dead Man’s Curve'. 
  3. ^ Google Maps view of curve in Birmingham
  4. ^ "Dead Man's Curve". Urban Legends Reference Pages. May 23, 2007. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  5. ^  
  6. ^ Google (August 25, 2015). "Sunset Boulevard and Evans Road" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  7. ^ Lee, Henry K.; Michael Cabanatuan; Jaxon Van Derbeken (November 10, 2009). "Changes coming to Bay Bridge after death plunge". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 11, 2009. 
  8. ^ Google (August 25, 2015). "SR 76 and Red Gate Road in San Diego County" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  9. ^ Google Maps view of curve in Colorado
  10. ^ Gathright, Alan (2007-07-12). "Stretch of I-70 has deadly legacy".  
  11. ^ Google Maps view
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "The Mother Road: Historic Route 66 - Dead Man's Curve". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  15. ^ Google Maps view of I70 west at mile marker 83.1 in Indianapolis
  16. ^ Google Maps view of curve in Covington, Kentucky
  17. ^ Google Maps view of curve in Plain Dealing
  18. ^ Google Maps view of curve in Baltimore
  19. ^ Kulsea, Bill; Shawver, Tom (1980). Making Michigan Move: A History of Michigan Highways and the Michigan Department of Transportation. Lansing: Michigan Department of Transportation. p. 10. 
  20. ^ Federal Highway Administration (1977). America's Highways, 1776–1976: A History of the Federal-Aid Program. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. p. 127.  
  21. ^ "The Mother Road: Historic Route 66 - Turn by Turn Road Description - New Mexico". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  22. ^ 2
  23. ^ "Google Maps". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  24. ^ "New Mexicans move to make roads more wildlife-friendly". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  25. ^ a b Chapter 4.0: Conceptual Alternatives – Innerbelt Curve, Cleveland Innerbelt: Conceptual Alternatives Study, Ohio Department of Transportation/Burgess & Niple/URS Corporation, 2006-08-11. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
  26. ^ "Encyclopedia of Cleveland History — Innerbelt Freeway". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  27. ^ Google Maps view of curve in Cleveland
  28. ^ Ohio Department of Transportation (2007-05-16). District 12 Speed Zones. p. 5.
  29. ^ Sweeney, James (2001-04-22). "Dead Man's Curve could be worse - in fact, it was".  
  30. ^  
  31. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (2009-11-11). "Ideas offered to slow S-curve motorists". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-11-11. 
  32. ^ Sweeney, James (2001-04-22). "Roadblock to improving safety; Inner Belt changes being studied, but Dead Man's Curve might be dead end". The Plain Dealer. 
  33. ^ Marshall, Aaron (2012-07-22). "Cleveland's Dead Man's Curve Not Going to Stop Tipping Trucks Anytime Soon". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  34. ^ Contract Group 4, Innerbelt Plan
  35. ^ Grant, Alison (2014-08-12). "Traffic Congestion Easing across Northeast Ohio". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  36. ^ Cuyahoga County Annual Average Daily Traffic 2013 (PDF) (Map). Ohio Department of Transportation. 2013. 
  37. ^ Google Maps view of curve in Cincinnati
  38. ^ Google Maps view of curve in Dayton
  39. ^ Google Maps view of curve in on the Mount Hood Scenic Byway
  40. ^ Google Maps view of curve in Easton
  41. ^ "Shine the lights on Cemetery Curve; Tuesday will be a great day for no-shows - Oct. 28 letters to the editor". Easton Express-Times. 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2010-12-15. 
  42. ^ Google Maps view of curve in Dallas

External links

  • Video of Cleveland's Dead Man's Curve westbound (0:44) on YouTube
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.