Highway 17 is one of the most dangerous roads in California. With its sharp turns, blind spots, wet roads and frequent conflict points (paths where vehicles can collide), Highway 17 sees hundreds of crashes each year. The highway has even earned the nicknames “Blood Alley” and “Killer 17”. However, some parts of Highway 17 may be especially dangerous. The most dangerous parts of Highway 17 include:
- The Laurel Curve. The Laurel Curve generally has a high concentration of crashes each year. In fact, the curve is where 3/4ths of the fatal car accidents between 2004 and 2010 occurred. For motorists travelling southbound, the Laurel Curve is a sharp downhill turn with plenty of opportunities for accidents.
- The “Valley Surprise”. The Valley Surprise is the nickname for a long curve that is north of Summit Road. This part of the highway may catch drivers off-guard with its sharp, downhill slope. Speeding or inattentive drivers may unexpectedly strike the highway median.
- Big Moody Curve. Big Moody Curve is located between Summit Road and Alma Fire Station near Los Gatos. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), mud and water frequently seep onto the southbound lanes of Moody Curve. Slicks roads may cause drivers to crash. This part of Highway 17 also features a curve that is more than 180 degrees.