Avoiding Wrong Way Crash Accidents
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento wrongful death lawyer. Sacramento residents may be surprised to know that hundreds of deaths occur each year caused by wrong-way drivers. Read ahead to learn the reasons for wrong-way driving, and how to try and avoid this type of driver if you suddenly find yourself face-to-face with one.
Common Reasons for Wrong-Way Driving
Wrong way crashes commonly occur when a driver makes a U-turn on the road, enters an off-ramp or turns on the median at the emergency turnaround. In 60 percent of the crashes, the BAC level of the wrong way driver was over 0.15. Drivers are arrested for drunk driving when their BAC level is 0.08 or higher. Impairment by drug use, an inexperienced driver or drowsy driving can also contribute to wrong way driving.
Tactics to Avoid a Wrong-Way Driver
Although there are no guarantees that a driver can avoid a collision with a wrong-way driver, there are a few tactics that can be employed to lessen the risk.
- Move over into the far right lane. Many wrong-way drivers automatically move into what they perceive as the far right lane, thinking that they are in the slow lane. Drivers who are already in the fast lane on the left face a higher risk of collision with a wrong-way driver. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, most collisions (7 out of 9) happen in the fast lane.
- Use your signal lights. Because wrong way drivers are frequently impaired or inexperienced, signaling your intentions can help avoid a collision.
- Keep a close eye on traffic in front of you. By viewing the traffic ¼ mile ahead, a driver is given more time to look for danger and avoid it.
- Make sure you and others in the vehicle are using seat belts. In the event of a collision, seat belts, along with airbags, are your best protection from serious injury.
- Keep an eye on the color of the reflectors at the side of the road. If they are yellow or white, it means you are driving in the correct direction. If you happen to see red reflectors, you are driving in the wrong direction.
- If you are passed by a wrong-way driver, pull off onto the shoulder immediately and phone 911. Make note, if possible, of the make, model and license plate of the wrong-way driver. Relate this information to police, along with the road, direction and mile marker.
What Is Wrong-Way Driving (WWD)?
The simplest explanation of wrong-way driving on a highway is one who drives his or her vehicle against traffic. While usually reserved for divided highways, WWD can occur on any type of roadway, including two-lane rural roads or multiple lanes divided by a median. According to the Federal Highway Administration, approximately 300 to 400 people die annually in wrong way crashes. The frequency of wrong-way crashes is low at roughly 1 percent of all accidents, yet when they occur, the fatality rate is higher than other types of accidents. This is largely due to the high-impact speed that results when two vehicles crash into one another since it is equal to a combined velocity. Because driving the wrong way is a negligent act, a family who has lost a loved one because of this type of negligence may recover compensation for their loss through a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Municipalities Can Do to Eliminate Wrong-Way Driving
There are things municipalities can do to lessen the number of WWD accidents. An easy way to start is by placing signage at exit ramps to alert drivers traveling in an opposite direction that they cannot enter. The use of roundabouts in some areas may provide direction control for potential wrong-way drivers. In the future, “connected” vehicles will alert a driver that he or she has entered a road or exit ramp traveling in the wrong direction.
Related Articles by Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyers ~
- CalTrans introduces Deterrent to Wrong-Way Driving
- Elderly Woman Killed in Crash Identified as Wrong-Way Driver
- Wrong-Way Driver Along I-5 Causes Fiery Crash
Wrongful Death Lawyer in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento wrongful death lawyer. Losing a loved one is a tragedy that is compounded when that family member was lost through the negligence of another person. If this happened to you, please phone me at (916) 921-6400 or toll free at (800) 404-5400. My advice is compassionate, free and friendly.
Find out what others have said about my practice and some of what I achieved at:
During my career, I have won million dollar settlements or verdicts for clients. Because of that, I am proud to say I was inducted into a forum of trial attorneys who have achieved the same. Check out the website at milliondollaradvocates.com.
Stay on the website that I established and own, AutoAccident.com, to learn more about personal injury law.
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/technology-police-car-roof-2500010/
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