Why do wrong-way accidents happen?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Minor wrong-way accidents sometimes happen because of confusion. Maybe a street used to be a two-way street and it was converted into a one-way street, but someone is using an outdated GPS device. Or maybe someone is just young and doesn’t realize that they’re using a one-way street, assuming it goes both directions because they don’t have much experience driving.

These types of minor issues can cause accidents and may lead to injuries. But wrong-way accidents on the interstate are vastly more dangerous. When these crashes take place, the vehicles could be traveling at a combined speed of around 150 miles per hour. Many of these accidents are fatal, and they are all entirely avoidable because there are signs and ramp systems specifically set up to prevent these crashes. So why do they happen anyway?

Driver impairment

The top reason for a wrong-way accident on the interstate is that one or both of the drivers are under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Studies consistently find that driver impairment is what causes these crashes to take place, and that is why they are so hard to prevent.

After all, the road design is already built to keep this from happening. But if someone is too impaired to notice wrong-way signs at the bottom of an offramp, they may drive up that ramp anyway. If someone has been using substances that have impaired their cognitive abilities, there may be almost nothing that the road design itself can do to keep them safe. They are simply going to drive until they cause an accident.

Unfortunately, innocent people can be injured or even killed in these crashes. Those who are involved need to know how to seek proper compensation from the at-fault driver.


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