As a Tennessee resident, you may have ridden a renowned stretch of highway referred to as the Tail of the Dragon. Running from Blount County, TN through Swain County, North Carolina, Deals Gap – as a particular stretch is referred to – is a popular beautiful American road for motorcyclists and sports car enthusiasts. This section of highway consists of 318 twists and turns, each one different than the other.
What also makes the Dragon’s Tail unique is the absence of any houses with a driveway or any intersecting roads. This stretch of highway also has no businesses, which means the open road ahead is truly open. These factors put together create a thrilling opportunity for eager motorcyclists.
The road can be deadly
While motorcyclists may feel a temptation to push the limits of their riding skills along Dragon’s Tail, this section of highway has had its share of serious accidents and casualties. Between late 2015 and early spring of 2017, this stretch was the scene of 178 crashes, resulting in 90 injuries, and 3 fatalities.
Tree of shame
So many motorcycle crashes have occurred in fact that as a reminder of the dangers involved with riding the Dragon Tail stretch, a tree has been turned into a monument, covered with motorcycle parts. Called the “Tree of Shame,” a sign has been placed next to all of the bent and twisted motorcycle parts that reads, “No gain & a lot of PAIN!” So many wrecked motorcycle parts have been placed on the tree that individuals are now asked to hand the parts in instead of personally attaching them to the tree.
No fuel stops until the end
Along this stretch of U.S. 129, there is only one gas station, and it is located at the end of the Dragon’s Tail in North Carolina. It is connected to the Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort which consists of an assorted shop and motel.
Aside from the obvious problems of having to either push or abandon our bike, running out of gas on the country’s curviest road means other drivers might not see you. The risks of walking along this route are numerous.
Increased police presence
Police patrolling the Tail of the Dragon have increased their presence in recent years as a result of the ever-increasing number of thrill seekers and crashes. In fact, officers issued close to 2,300 citations to riders on the Dragon’s Tail over the period of a year and a half between 2015 and 2017.
As a result of its secluded location and the challenges of driving the Dragon’s Tail, if you happen to sustain injuries in an accident on this portion of highway, you may have to wait more than an hour for help to arrive. For this reason, it is important to drive this stretch with careful consideration for the safety of others and yourself.
What to do if you are injured
If you are injured along the Tail of the Dragon, the first step is to call or have someone call 911 to report the accident. This is essential even if you are concerned you may be blamed. Second, contact your insurance company agent or claims office about the accident and potential for a claim. Third, seek and obtain legal counsel to make sure your rights are protected and you understand your potential liabilities. Knowledgeable and experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Tennessee can give you the advice you need on how to proceed forward.
Have you or a loved one suffered injuries in a serious motorcycle accident caused by another party along the stretch of Dragon’s Tail in Tennessee or Georgia, or any other roadway? If so, our team at Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law can help. We offer representation to accident victims in Chattanooga, Cleveland, TN, and throughout North Georgia. We understand how to gather and present the necessary evidence to establish fault and prove your claim for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. To set up a free consultation, give us a call today at 423.799.3532 or complete our contact form.