Nearly 1.5 percent of fatal car accidents involve wrong way drivers. Wrong way accidents occur more often than you think.
We have all heard about car accidents involving drivers who somehow end up on the wrong side of the interstate or highway, driving against traffic. While it is difficult to understand why someone would do this, it does happen. According to the Federal Highway Administration, each year 300 – 400 people are killed in wrong way driving accidents. Nearly 1.5 percent of fatal car accidents involve wrong way drivers. Wrong way accidents occur more often than you think.
The National Transportation Safety Board reports that there are over 260 wrong way accidents reported across the United Sates every year resulting in at least 360 fatalities. It has been proven that accidents caused by vehicles being driven on the wrong side of the road are more severe than other types of accidents, resulting in severe injuries.
Causes of Wrong Way Accidents
While anyone can inadvertently enter the wrong lane of traffic, some drivers are more likely to do this. These include:
- elderly drivers who are easily confused
- poor weather
- ongoing road maintenance
- passing vehicles
- failing to negotiate a curve
- inattentive or distracted drivers who may confuse an off-ramp for an on-ramp
- drunk or drugged drivers
- drivers who go the wrong way intentionally in an effort to avoid traffic or accident congestion
Avoiding a Head-On Collision
If you find yourself facing a wrong way vehicle coming in your lane, take evasive measures to avoid a head on collision, even if you have to drive off the road. Listed below are certain tips to help you take the best course of action if an incoming vehicle strays into your lane.
- Immediately slow down and be prepared to stop your vehicle or even to pull off onto the shoulder if the situation arises.
- If you are required to make a split-second decision to avoid a head-on collision, always veer towards the right as the other driver will move towards your left (i.e. his right) and a collision may be avoided.
- Try to keep at least two wheels on the pavement when you go right on the road while avoiding a head on collision. This will decrease the force of impact and the severity of the collision will be less.
- It is always safer to hit a stationary object than a vehicle coming at you from the opposite direction. The combined force of both the vehicles makes the accident more serious.
- Always wear your seat belt. It is a law across all states and in case of a head on collision, it can mean the difference between life and death.
St. Louis Car Wreck Law Firms
If you ever come across a wrong way driver, try to avoid an impact, pull over, and call the police. If you are injured in a crash, talk to a St. Louis car wreck lawyer to protect your legal rights. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.