Driving the wrong way may not be one of the leading causes of traffic accidents, but it definitely ranks among the deadliest. A head-on traffic collision will most likely result in severe injuries and even death. These accidents are even more dangerous when they involve large vehicles like trucks and buses. It’s not uncommon for wrong way drivers to lose their lives in the crash. In fact, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that about 400 people lose their lives due to wrong way car accidents every year.
Why do wrong way car accidents happen?
There are several reasons that can lead a driver to take the wrong way:
- Influence of alcohol and drugs
- Lack of visibility
- Lack of warning signs
- Foliage overgrowth
- Distracted driving (talking on the phone, texting, etc.)
- Missing a turn and exit and going back illegally
- Reckless and impatient driving
Sometimes the driver is at fault, and sometimes it is the government’s responsibility for not putting appropriate signage, providing sufficient lighting or trimming overgrown vegetation. Since different factors can lead to this kind of crash, it can occur anywhere at any time. Keeping a scenario like this in mind is useful for a driver to drive safely and be able to react promptly when somebody is driving the wrong way.
For instance, sometimes drivers in urban areas can take one-way streets in the wrong direction, either on purpose to save time or due to a lack of appropriate signage. That is another situation where a wrong way accident is likely to occur.
It is also worth noting that the risk of traffic accidents typically increases at night. Among the people going home after parties, it is safe to assume a lot of them are not sober. Furthermore, the period of time between midnight and 6 am is known for the higher frequency of drowsy drivers, and they may drift from their lane into your own.
Wrong Way Car Accidents Have Terrible Consequences
Head-on collisions of two vehicles running at high speed make for disastrous outcomes. The injuries caused by wrong-way accidents are often serious and sometimes fatal:
- Broken and shattered bones
- Damaged organs and internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injuries
The physical and emotional impact of traffic accidents is often devastating. Consequences include temporary or permanent disability, scars, compromised career, trauma, fear of driving again and more. Besides, it is very hard for a person to move forward with their life if they feel responsible for the injury or death of another person.
Treating injuries like these are often expensive and may require a long period of rehabilitation. Obtaining compensation from the involved parties can be crucial for a victim to be able to recover and resume ordinary life.
Preventing Wrong Way Car Accidents
While the government plays a key role in reducing the frequency of traffic accidents, drivers should endeavor to remain vigilant at all times. While you’re driving, examine the road ahead and stay on the lookout for any suspicious behavior from other drivers. The sooner you realize someone is driving the wrong way, the more time you will have to evade the oncoming vehicle. It is also preferable to stay in the right lane as wrong-way drivers are more likely to take the left lane (also known as the fast lane). Staying aware of your surroundings is key, as the worst can happen in a moment.
You also have to be even more careful during weekends, since a lot of people go out at night and may or may not be sober while driving. Don’t hesitate to use your horn and flash your beams to warn seemingly impaired drivers. In the case you encounter and manage to avoid a wrong way collision, pull over and call 911 immediately to notify the police before the wrong way driver can cause an accident.
Reach Out to an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer If You Have Been in a Wrong Way Accident
If you been involved in a wrong way accident in Indiana and suffered a severe injury, call Rowe & Hamilton today for a free consultation to discuss your case and consider your legal options. Obtaining compensation for the injuries caused by an irresponsible driver can be a complex process, and our assistance will help you ease your worries and build a strong case so you can recover from your injury and be able to move forward.