Open main menu

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 crashes.[1][2] The term is in common use in the United States.


United StatesEdit


The curve where Interstate 20 merges with Interstate 59 in Birmingham, Alabama, is known as "Dead Man's Curve" due to its danger.[citation needed]


  • A curve on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles memorialized in the hit song "Dead Man's Curve" by Jan and Dean. The song's lyrics clearly place the location of the "Dead Man's Curve" accident at the curve on westbound Sunset Boulevard one block west of Doheny Drive in West Hollywood.


  • A sharp turn on eastbound Interstate 70 just west of exit 259 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.[3]


  • 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 lives and is considered one of Oahu's haunted roads.[4][5]


New MexicoEdit

  • Near Mesita, a 180º bend in the road to the left on Historic U.S. Route 66 nicknamed "Dead Man's Curve"[8]
  • 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[9][10][11]

New YorkEdit

  • Union Square in Manhattan had a long history of traffic congestion extending back to the 1890s, when trolley lines were first installed. Two parallel trolley lines made a double curve at the southwest corner of Broadway and Fourteenth Street. In spite of traffic wardens on duty, the trolleys regularly struck pedestrians crossing the tracks in the busy shopping district around the park. [12] By 1930, the Fourteenth Street Association, a retail business association headed by its president, H. Prescott Beach, had successfully lobbied the New York transit authority to remove the above-ground rails, and move routes underground. [13]


Dead Man's Curve in Cleveland, Ohio
Dead Man's Curve was constructed as part of the Innerbelt project in 1959.[18] 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.[19] 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).[citation needed] Four years later,[failed verification] authorities completed the first set of safety retrofits, which included banking the curve and installing rumble strips and large signs.[20]
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.[21][22] As of 2014 the proposed configuration of the curve as presented in the ODOT Innerbelt Plan[14] is still planned to be built but not until the mid-2020s.[23][24] According to a 2013 ODOT count, 64,720 vehicles travel on the curve every day.[25]


  • On U.S. Route 22 in Easton, there are several dangerous sharp turns that go past a graveyard.[26] (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.[27]
  • The Conshohocken Curve is a point on the Schuylkill Expressway notable as a point of slowness because of the 90 degree turn. The point lies at about mile marker 331.

South CarolinaEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Allen, Irving Lewis (1995). The City in Slang: New York Life and Popular Speech. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509265-1 – via Google Books. A bend in any road that has a history of vehicular accidents always seems to be called Dead Man's Curve.
  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. ^ Gathright, Alan (July 12, 2007). "Stretch of I-70 has deadly legacy". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on July 14, 2007. Retrieved July 13, 2007.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 24, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Kailua NB February Minutes, Official Web Site for The City and County of Honolulu". June 15, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Federal Highway Administration (1977). America's Highways, 1776–1976: A History of the Federal-Aid Program. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. p. 127. OCLC 3280344.
  8. ^ "The Mother Road: Historic Route 66 - Turn by Turn Road Description - New Mexico". Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  9. ^ 2
  10. ^ "Google Maps". Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  11. ^ "New Mexicans move to make roads more wildlife-friendly". Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  12. ^ "UNION SQUARE AND THE DEMISE OF 'DEAD MAN'S CURVE'". Bowery Boys. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  13. ^ "The "New Woman" Revised". Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Chapter 4.0: Conceptual Alternatives – Innerbelt Curve, Cleveland Innerbelt: Conceptual Alternatives Study, Ohio Department of Transportation/Burgess & Niple/URS Corporation, August 11, 2006. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
  15. ^ "Encyclopedia of Cleveland History — Innerbelt Freeway". Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  16. ^ Google Maps view of curve in Cleveland
  17. ^ Ohio Department of Transportation (May 16, 2007). District 12 Speed Zones. p. 5.
  18. ^ Sweeney, James (April 22, 2001). "Dead Man's Curve could be worse - in fact, it was". The Plain Dealer.
  19. ^ Ohio Department of Highways. "1957-1958 Biennial Report excerpt". Retrieved July 22, 2012.
  20. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (November 11, 2009). "Ideas offered to slow S-curve motorists". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 11, 2009.
  21. ^ Sweeney, James (April 22, 2001). "Roadblock to improving safety; Inner Belt changes being studied, but Dead Man's Curve might be dead end". The Plain Dealer.
  22. ^ Marshall, Aaron (July 22, 2012). "Cleveland's Dead Man's Curve Not Going to Stop Tipping Trucks Anytime Soon". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
  23. ^ Contract Group 4, Innerbelt Plan
  24. ^ Grant, Alison (August 12, 2014). "Traffic Congestion Easing across Northeast Ohio". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  25. ^ Cuyahoga County Annual Average Daily Traffic 2013 (PDF) (Map). Ohio Department of Transportation. 2013.
  26. ^ Google Maps view of curve in Easton
  27. ^ "Shine the lights on Cemetery Curve; Tuesday will be a great day for no-shows - Oct. 28 letters to the editor". Easton Express-Times. October 28, 2010. Retrieved December 15, 2010.
  28. ^ Ritter, Jana. "Recent Fatal Crash Prompts Action To Fix "Deadman's Curve"". Retrieved May 18, 2016.

External linksEdit