Illustration via WSBTV

Illustration via WSBTV

Few of us would try to negotiate a 35-mph bend at 65 mph if we knew doing so would flip the truck. Sometimes we get caught unaware, not fully expecting such a tight curve on a freeway, but they are out there.

A recent story on the website of the British paper, The Daily Mail, tells the tale of the intersection of I-285 southbound to Interstate 20 eastbound in Atlanta, Ga. The story, complied with footage, photos and interviews compiled from Atlanta ABC-affiliate, WSB, suggest the high number of truck roll-over that have occurred there might be based in an optical illusion -- one that leads drivers to believe they are going straight when in fact the roadway hooks dramatically to the left into a near-180-degree bend.

There are several too-tight bends on interstate highways around the country. The nasty right hook on I-90 in eastern Cleveland comes to mind.

Despite the number of tight-turn warnings and even rumble strips, the amount of debris and the tire marks on the barricades speak to the fact that not everyone heeds the warnings.

The Atlanta intersection is no different, except that the geometry of the highway may be a contributing factor. The signage advises 35 mph, but for some drivers, the view from the steering position suggests the highway continues straight. So why the speed warning? Why indeed.

What the drivers who see a straight-ahead highway are looking at, according to the story, is the adjacent exit ramp. It does go straight. The mainline of the highway hooks to the left.

The Daily Mail story says there have been 10 truck roll-overs there in the past 18 months alone. You'd think that might be to get the DOT looking into the problem.

Know of any other problem interchanges or badly designed highway around the country? Leave a comment for us and perhaps tip off a few unsuspecting drivers as well.

About the author
Jim Park

Jim Park

Equipment Editor

A truck driver and owner-operator for 20 years before becoming a trucking journalist, Jim Park maintains his commercial driver’s license and brings a real-world perspective to Test Drives, as well as to features about equipment spec’ing and trends, maintenance and drivers. His On the Spot videos bring a new dimension to his trucking reporting. And he's the primary host of the HDT Talks Trucking videocast/podcast.

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