According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), over 350 highway deaths each year have to do with wrong-way driving, with the vast majority of them due to head-on collisions at high speeds. One percent of normal car wrecks involve fatalities; the number jumps to 22 percent for wrong-way collisions.
Causes of Wrong-Way Car Wrecks
A 2012 NTSB report found that over half of wrong-way incidents involved drivers who drank alcohol, with over 60 percent of them having blood-alcohol readings of .15 or higher, nearly double the legal limit in Alaska. Wrong-way collisions do not discriminate according to age: fifteen percent of wrong-way collisions are initiated by drivers age 70 or over. Confusion and impaired vision are aggravating factors in these accidents.
Many wrong-way accidents begin with a driver mistakenly entering a highway from an exit ramp; others originate with people who realize they have missed their exit, so they make a U-turn and head the wrong way back to the exit. Nearly 80 percent of wrong-way accidents occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Research has shown that road configurations sometimes play a role in driver confusion. Entrance and exit ramps that are side by side sometimes compound disorientation. Exit ramps on the left-hand side of a highway seem to exacerbate these situations as well.
The NTSB is recommending that states drop the hammer on first-time DUI offenders by requiring ignition-interlock devices on their cars. Some states are enlarging warning signs and placing them closer to eye level, which is yielding positive results.
If you have been the victim of a wrong-way accident, contact an experienced auto accident attorney to protect your rights.
Take Action Quickly
In order to protect your rights, it is important to contact a lawyer so that you can take action as soon as possible. The sooner that you take action, the more likely it is that evidence will be available to help you prove your claim and that the more likely it is that you will get a fair recovery sooner.
We encourage you to contact us today via this website or by phone to schedule a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation with attorney Ben Crittenden. After that, you can make an informed decision about how to protect your legal rights.