Wrong-Way Accidents Increasing Across The US
Wrong-way accidents can be extremely dangerous, often resulting in severe or fatal injuries. Unfortunately, these accidents are on the rise across the United States. You should know your legal rights if you or a loved one was involved in a wrong-way car crash. It is best to speak with a Mississippi car accident attorney to know your legal options and the best way to move forward for seeking damages from the negligent party.
High Incidence of Wrong-Way Driving: What are the Causes?
According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, injuries and fatalities because of wrong-way car accidents are on the rise. A study released by the foundation reported that these tragic accidents caused an average of 500 deaths per year between 2015 and 2019.
There are several different reasons fueling wrong-way driving and the resulting car accident. These are a few common ones:
1. Driving under the influence
Drivers driving while intoxicated is one of the leading causes of road accidents, including wrong-way driving crashes. Law enforcement has stepped up its efforts to curb this particular type of reckless driving. Correlating with this, the number of fatal accidents is still staggering. Intoxication can create confusion in the driver’s mind and force them to enter a one-way street or a highway in the wrong direction. Intoxication also slows down reaction time and leads to poor concentration and lack of judgment.
2. Distracted driving
Distracted driving is another leading cause of vehicular accidents, particularly wrong-way collisions. Manual, visual and cognitive are the three primary types of distractions. Manual distractions involve actions that compel the driver to take one or both hands off the steering wheel. This can be for eating, drinking, smoking, or another action.
Visual distraction includes taking eyes off the road. This can be for fiddling with the radio dial, admiring the view, or applying makeup among others. Cognitive distractions refer to things that cause the mind to drift away from the road. For instance, a person worried about a sick child may not be focusing on the road and drive in the wrong direction.
3. Unfamiliar and confusing roads
Road navigation technologies, such as GPS cannot completely prevent an accident. They are not 100% accurate and a driver following the directions literally may find themselves going in the wrong direction. The same thing can happen when a driver follows someone else’s directions on reaching a destination. They may find themselves driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street or a divided highway.
4. Poor road design
A highway, road, or onramp can be designed poorly with confusing directions. This may cause the most careful driver to get on the wrong side of the road. Poorly designed roads don’t have the adequate and proper signage. They merge lanes without any warning signs to alert the driver. Poor highway lighting and street lighting may also play a significant role in such accidents. Under-construction roads are another reason for an increasing number of wrong-way accidents.
The latest information made available by the NTSB reports that an estimated 360 people are killed each year because of wrong-way driving accidents.
AAA Data Related to Wrong Way Car Accidents
AAA conducted a study to understand the reasons behind the growing number of wrong-way crashes and the best way of avoiding them. Wrong-way accidents, as per the director of legislative affairs for AAA East Central, are essentially head-on collisions when occurring on divided highways. The injuries are usually of a fatal nature.
The AAA study revealed the following results and information:
- More than 60% of motorists involved in fatal wrong-way accidents were legally drunk when the accident took place
- The most common cause of wrong-way accidents was found to be drunk driving
- Drivers over the age of 70 are at a higher risk of driving in the wrong direction
- Motorists that had another passenger in the car were found to be at a lower risk of driving the wrong way
Types of Injuries in Wrong-Way Accidents
Wrong-way accidents can result in serious injuries, especially when they take place on a highway as a head-on collision. In fact, as per the NTSB, wrong-way vehicular accidents are more likely to result in fatal injuries than any other type of vehicular accident. The resulting injuries depend on the nature of the accident and the speed at which the two cars were traveling.
These are a few common injuries:
- Broken bones, such as the ribs, pelvis, arms, legs, and collarbone
- Internal injuries to the organs in the abdomen and chest
- Neck and head injuries, including concussions, whiplash, and traumatic brain injury
- Partial or complete paralysis because of spinal cord injuries
Speak With a Mississippi Wrong Way Car Accident Attorney Today
The competent and resourceful auto accident lawyers at Gardner Law Firm are ready to fight for you if you or a loved one was injured in a wrong-way car accident. Injuries can be quite severe owing to the nature of these accidents. We can explain your legal options and help you take the necessary steps to obtain the compensation you are entitled to. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 228-436-6555 or fill out this online contact form.