Safety

 

Fatal injuries occur every year in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Motor vehicle accidents and drownings are the leading causes of death. Be aware:

  • Motorcyclists must be especially cautious here. Automobiles frequently cross center lines on blind curves and winding roads. Ride defensively!

  • There are no life-guarded swimming areas in the park. Swimming and tubing are not recommended.

  • Never try to climb to the top of a waterfall. The rocks are coated with slippery algae, and several hikers have been killed.

  • Yellowjacket wasps are especially aggressive in autumn. Allergic persons should carry "epi" pens or other medications. If stung on the hand, remove rings immediately.

  • Don't drive impaired! The park's mountainous roads are narrow, winding and heavily traveled. They are unforgiving for a careless driver; or worse, for a driver whose mental state is compromised by alcohol or drugs. Every year, several alcohol-related fatalities occur within the park.

Average number of serious injuries in the park each year:
Motor vehicle accidents - 50
Walking or hiking accidents - 38
Bicycle accidents - 16
Falls from waterfalls - 9
Horse related - 7
Tubing related - 5
Bee Sting reaction - 4

Did You Know?