Accidents caused by wrong way drivers are common and incredibly dangerous
If you’ve been paying attention to the headlines in the Philadelphia area, you’ve likely seen headlines surrounding wrong way accidents. It seems these accidents are becoming increasingly common, especially on weekends and holidays. Far too often the news is filled with reports of wrong way drivers causing accidents that cost lives or cause severe injuries to unsuspecting motorists in other vehicles.
The National Transit Safety Administration recently released the results of a study focused on the causes and results of wrong way driving accidents. The key findings of the study include:
- The number of wrong way drivers under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash – Nearly 75 percent of wrong way drivers are found to be impaired by alcohol or drug use.
- The average age or drivers involved in wrong way accidents – Drivers over the age of 70 account for a large percentage of those causing wrong way accidents. This fact is especially interesting because the same demographic represents just 3 percent of drivers involved in right-way accidents.
- The origin or entry point for wrong way drivers – When the origin of a wrong way driver can be determined exit ramps are the most common points of entry into the incorrect flow of traffic. Drivers entering an exit ramp account for the largest percentage of wrong way driving accidents.
- The timing of wrong way accidents – Such collisions occur far more frequently at night. The study reveals that 78 percent of fatal wrong way accidents occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., and that a majority of these collisions occur on the weekend.
- The location of wrong way accidents – According to the results of the study, the vast majority of wrong way driving accidents occur in the lane closest to the median.
- The frequency of fatalities – The majority of wrong way driving accidents are head on collisions. Such collisions often result in severe injuries and fatalities. Wrong way driving accidents are compounded by the regular flow of traffic as drivers following the victim’s car are more likely to be involved in the accident than in any other situation. These combined factors lead to a disproportionate number of fatalities amongst the wrong way driving accident category.
What can be done to prevent driving the wrong way accidents?
There are many strategies that we as motorists can take to reduce the potential for a wrong way driving accident. When you are behind the wheel, be sure to:
- Avoid alcohol: Always avoid alcohol or drug use in the hours before taking to the road. Operating a vehicle while under the influence of even a few drinks can increase the chances of making a mistake. These substances can also impact your reflexes, thereby reducing your chances of avoiding a wrong way driver.
- Maintain awareness: As sad as it may sound, the potential for a wrong way accident is always present, especially at night or in adverse weather. As a driver, it is important to maintain constant awareness of the vehicles around you, as well as the roadway in front of you. By maintaining vigilance, you may be able to see a wrong way driver coming in time to take evasive action.
- Report wrong way drivers: Should you happen to see a driver heading the wrong way on the highway, be sure to report the sighting to the police. By bringing attention to the wrong way driver quickly, you may give the authorities the opportunity to intervene before an accident occurs.
Drivers are not the only ones that can take action to limit wrong way driving accidents. Municipalities should post signage and pavement markers clearly demonstrating the flow of traffic and warning wrong way drivers to turn around. An increased law enforcement presence during weekends and holidays may also limit the potential of a deadly driving the wrong way accident.
Additionally, highway architects should take pains to create interchange and ramp designs that limit the potential for a wrong way accident.
Explore your legal rights if you have suffered an injury or loss in a wrong way accident
If you or a loved one have been injured in a driving the wrong way accident, you have the legal right to pursue compensation from the other party and their insurance provider. It is important to begin exploring your legal options as quickly after the accident as possible, however, as your chances for obtaining compensation improve greatly if you retain an attorney right after the crash. At McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC, our Philadelphia wrong way accident lawyers have the experience and resources to help.
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Contact us online or call our office at 215-569-8488 or 302-888-1221 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers. We help injured clients throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.