Wrong Way Car Accidents: What You Need to Know
The first thing you need to realize about wrong way car accidents is that the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), has reported that there are 300-400 of these accidents every year. These accidents usually involve severe injuries, and they usually require the victim meeting with a car accident lawyer to protect their benefits.
These accidents can sometimes be avoided if you understand the types of situations when they occur, and steps to take in protecting yourself beyond regular driving precautions.
What are the Causes?
The leading cause of wrong way car accidents is due to driver intoxication. Also, these accidents usually occur between 12 AM and 3 AM during the night hours. In fact, 50% to 75% of these accidents are due to drinking alcohol, the use of drugs, or the use of medications.
Distracted driving is also a major cause, and this can be attributed to cell phone use, teen-aged socializing, or even situations involving family vacations in a new location.
Sometimes drivers are unfamiliar with the roadways, and they may have to deal with poorly placed signs or a lack of signs when exiting or entering highways. A lack of visibility in related cases as well as being tired from driving can lead to making the wrong turn at the wrong time.
Unfortunately for those drivers over 70 years of age, wrong way accidents can occur when they cannot see the exit or signs, or they have a medical emergency.
Ways to Prevent Wrong Way Accidents
Some of the hints for avoiding wrong way accidents fall into the commonsense category. For instance, never drive when you are sleepy and pay closer attention to signs and exits when you are driving at night. Most good drivers keep a safe distance between cars, and most families are aware of family drivers who may have a health condition that could lead to poor decision making on the road.
One thing that drivers also need to know is that most wrong way accidents happen in the left lane of the highway. This can be due to the driver of the oncoming car moving to the right as if in a normal pattern, or it could be due to a driver who crosses the median and settles into what he thinks is the right lane. The safer practice here is to drive in the right lane, keep your eyes focused on more than the car ahead of you, and pay attention.
What are the Consequences?
According to the FHA, the death rate with those involved can be from 12% to 27% higher than with other types of car accidents. In addition, the types of injuries are predictably more complicated.
First Responders to a wrong way accident are used to treating broken bones, whiplash, head and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and even paralysis. Recovering from these accidents can take years, and the assistance of a car accident lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can ensure that the victims have the resources they need to recover completely.
What Else is Being Done to Reduce Wrong Way Accidents
Some states are making changes that they hope will reduce the number of wrong way accidents. In Texas, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, they have added flashing red lights to difficult exits, and they have also painted large white “wrong way” arrows on the pavement. Some have added road spikes or concrete structures to prevent motorists from proceeding into an unsafe lane.
Increased vigilance and good judgement can help all drivers reduce the chances of a wrong way accident that many times results in death or severe injuries. The law offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. are available to assist you with knowledge and compassion if you or a loved one are a victim in a wrong way accident. There is no fee for a consultation. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529), so we can help you fight for the justice you deserve.