Any collision can be dangerous, but crashes become even more devastating when vehicles meet head-on. When drivers go the wrong way on a roadway — whether by driving in the wrong lane or driving on the wrong side of a divided highway — that negligent decision can put others at serious risk. What should you know about wrong-way crashes?
Are wrong-way crashes becoming more common?
While wrong-way crashes are less common than other types of collisions, these deadly crashes are, unfortunately, becoming more common in recent years. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that between 2015 and 2018, American roadways saw a 34 percent increase in wrong-way collision fatalities compared to the period between 2010 and 2014.
Why are wrong-way crashes so dangerous?
Head-on collisions like those experienced in a wrong-way crash often lead to serious or fatal injuries because the vehicles are traveling in opposite directions. This significantly increase the force exerted on the cars and on the people in them. This is why frontal impact crashes accounted for almost 60 percent of deaths in multiple-vehicle crashes in 2020 according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Why do wrong-way crashes occur?
Wrong-way collisions can occur for a number of reasons. AAA notes that around three in every five wrong-way crashes involves a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Their data also indicates that drivers over the age of 70 are more likely to be involved in a wrong-way collision.
These dangerous or fatal crashes can have a devastating effect on injured people and their loved ones. If you or someone you care about was harmed as a result of a wrong way crash, you may want to explore your legal options. Compensation may be available to help you address the cost of care for severe injuries and to ease the burden during a difficult time.