What Motorists Need to Know About Wrong-Way Driving Accidents
Posted On behalf of Simien & Simien on Jan 11, 2018 in Automotive
Wrong-way car accidents are one of the most dangerous types of crashes that occur on our nation's roadways. These accidents kill between 300 to 400 Americans every year, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a wrong-way accident, Simien & Simien’s Baton Rouge car accident attorneys are here to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Request a free, no obligation consultation and we will review your claim and inform you of any legal options available.
Causes of Wrong-Way Accidents
Wrong-way driving accidents occur when a vehicle travels in the opposite direction of the legal flow of traffic on a divided highway or access ramp and collides with another vehicle going the right direction.
These accidents are often caused by driver negligence, including:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Confusion caused by construction zones
- Passing a vehicle and failing to return to the proper traffic lane
However, wrong-way accidents can also be caused by things that are out a driver's control, such as:
- Poor visibility, sometimes caused by weather conditions or lack of lighting
- Poorly placed or lack of signage
- Poor ramp design
- Vehicle defects such as faulty steering systems
- The driver's mental health issues
Research on Wrong-Way Crashes
Approximately 58 percent of wrong-way crashes involve driving under the influence, according to a 2015 study analyzing wrong-way accident data in Illinois that was published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention. Researchers found that 50 percent of these drivers were impaired by alcohol and four percent were under the influence of drugs.
About 70 percent of vehicles traveling the wrong way were passenger cars. The study also found that interchanges with the highest wrong-way crash rates were:
- Partial cloverleaf interchanges
- Freeway feeders
- Compressed diamond interchanges
- Single point diamond interchanges
According to the National Transportation Safety Board’s Highway Special Investigation Report, driver age, day and time of day are common factors in wrong-way accidents.
- About 15 percent of wrong-way accidents are caused by drivers over age 70.
- About 31 percent of wrong-way accidents take place between midnight and 3 a.m., with 78 percent of all wrong-way accidents occurring at night.
- About 57 percent of wrong-way accident occur between Friday and Sunday.
Injuries from Wrong-Way Accidents
Wrong-way accidents are often head-on impacts, occurring at high speeds. Such accidents often lead to severe and sometimes fatal personal injuries, including broken bones, paralysis and traumatic brain injuries.
Filing an insurance claim does not always cover the financial extent of the damages resulting from your accident injuries. However, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover additional forms of compensation, such as:
- Medical expenses, past and future
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship (for spouses)
If your loved one was killed in a wrong-way driving accident, a wrongful death lawsuit may be an option, allowing your family to recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost financial support
- Emotional trauma
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of support, love, counsel and guidance that would have been given by the decedent
- Pain and suffering, if the decedent was conscious and experienced pain prior to death
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers Now
If you were injured in a wrong-way driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our reputable car accident lawyers will investigate your case and guide you through the legal process as we work to hold at-fault drivers responsible for the damages they have caused.
Request a free, no obligation consultation and learn what legal options may be available to you. We work on contingency, so you only pay if we help recover compensation in your case.