Wrong-way accidents can be horrific. They’re incredibly violent, both because of the combined speed of the vehicles moving toward each other and due to the suddenness of the crash — most drivers who are hit have barely any time to take evasive action. They never expect a car to be coming toward them.
In the wake of such a crash, there’s often an outcry from the public. How could this even happen? How could things go so fundamentally wrong? Millions of drivers use the interstate correctly every day, so how could someone get on going the wrong direction?
According to a study reported on by the Federal Highway Administration, there are three key reasons:
- Impairment. A lot of wrong-way drivers, whether they cause accidents of not, have been drinking. If they were sober, they likely would never make the same mistakes. Similarly, it’s worth noting that many of these wrecks happen during weekends, when people may be more likely to drink excessively.
- Age. Both old and young drivers make these mistakes more than middle-aged drivers. The main groups are those who are older than 70 or those who are younger than 25. This suggests mental deterioration or a lack of experience could contribute.
- Night driving. Most deadly wrong-way wrecks happen during the night. It’s harder for drivers to see road signs and other key factors that would tell them they’re going the wrong way.
Wrong-way accidents should never happen, but, due to these factors, they continue to be an issue. If you’re hurt in an accident or a loved one is killed, be sure you know all of your legal rights.
Source: FHA, “Wrong Way Driving,” accessed Sep. 29, 2017