As a resident of Tennessee, you have no doubt heard or maybe even experienced the highway known as the Tail of the Dragon. The correct term in this case is experienced, since the highway features 318 twists and turns with not one being the same as another. The Tail of the Dragon is also unique because it does not have any intersecting roads and there are no houses on the stretch of road that may have a driveway. There are also no businesses located on the highway. This means clear sailing. These factors add up to creating quite an adventure and challenge for motorcyclists.
The road can be deadly
While the road may entice motorcyclists to test their riding skills, the road has had its share of casualties. Just in the period between late 2015 and the spring of 2017, there were 178 crashes that resulted in 90 injuries and three people losing their life.
Tree of shame
There have been so many motorcycle crashes, there is now a tree that has been covered with motorcycle parts as a reminder of how dangerous it is to ride the Dragon. This monument of sorts is called the “Tree of Shame” and it has a sign next to all the mangled motorcycle parts that reads, “No gain & a lot of PAIN!” The tree has been overrun with so many parts from wrecked motorcycles, that people are now asked to turn in the parts instead of affixing them to the tree.
Stronger police presence
Due to the ever-increasing amount of thrill seekers and resulting accidents, there has been an increased amount of police patrolling the highway. In a span of a year and a half from 2015 to 2017, officers wrote nearly 2,300 citations to riders on the Dragon.
Due to its remote location and the difficulty of driving this stretch of highway, if you are unfortunate enough to be hurt in an accident on the Dragon, it can take up to an hour or more for help to make its way up to help you. If you do decide to take on the Dragon, you should ride with extreme safety and be conscientious of others.