When a driver ends up driving the wrong way down a divided highway, the consequences of a head-on collision can be devastating — and new research says that these deadly accidents are on the rise.
According to data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there’s been a 34% jump in the average number of deaths related to wrong-way wrecks over the last few years.
What causes a driver to end up on the wrong side of the road?
Sometimes, drivers are simply confused. Maybe they’re new to an area, and the traffic flow at night just bewildered them. Maybe they’re an older driver whose eyes are failing, and they mistook an on ramp for an off one.
Most wrong-way collisions, however, can be attributed to one thing: Drinking. As the holiday season progresses, it’s more important than ever to understand that wrong-way accidents can happen. There tends to be a lot of drinking at this time of year — and not everybody thinks ahead to make sure that they have a ride.
Take the following steps to protect yourself
- On a four-lane highway, stay in the right lane at night
- If you see a driver coming at you the wrong way, slow down and move to the right
- Honk your horn, flash your lights and turn on your hazards
- As soon as possible, call 911 to report the situation
- Do not try to follow the driver in an attempt to catch them and alert them
If you’ve been seriously injured due to a wrong-way driver or your loved one was killed, don’t try to handle the situation without help. Learn more about the legal options at your disposal as you work through this difficult time.