Wrong-way accidents, where a vehicle travels in the opposite direction of the traffic flow on a road or highway, can have severe or fatal consequences for both the wrong-way driver and others.
Unfortunately, a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in 2019 indicated that wrong-way fatalities are actually increasing in number. Between 2015 and 2018, the number of wrong-way traffic deaths rose about 34% above the numbers seen between 2010 and 2014.
What’s going on?
There are probably several different factors in play that are causing wrong-way accidents to spike:
- An aging population: Older drivers have more experience on the road, but they may also start to develop cognitive and visual challenges that make them prone to mistakes. Mistaking an exit ramp for an entrance ramp to the highway or not spotting road markings can easily contribute to a wrong-way wreck.
- Drug and alcohol use: One of the primary reasons for wrong-way accidents is impaired driving, usually due to alcohol or drugs. Intoxicated drivers may become disoriented, confused or make poor decisions that lead them to enter a road in the wrong direction.
- Distracted driving: It’s impossible to discount the effect of technology on this problem. Texting, using a phone or engaging in other activities that divert a driver’s attention from the road, can lead to wrong-way accidents. Drivers not paying attention to road signs and signals may inadvertently enter a one-way street or exit ramp.
Nothing can put things back to right again if you’ve lost a loved one in a wrong-way accident or when you are suffering through a long recovery of your own. However, fair compensation can provide the resources you need to give your family some stability during this time.