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Understanding wrong-way crashes

We all have those oops moments. We do something we did not mean to do and quickly correct ourselves. Maybe we were tired, distracted or overwhelmed with too much on our plate. In some instances, this is very minor and causes little to no harm. However, when individuals make mistakes on the roadway, this can be serious and even deadly.

Take for example wrong-way crashes. This is when a motorist is traveling in a lane in the direction opposing the legal flow of traffic on a high-speed divided highway or on an access ramp to a high-speed highway. While wrong-way crashes can also occur when a driver crosses the centerline or median encroachment, the data collected in an investigation report only focuses on wrong-way accidents occurring on roadways where wrong-way travel is restricted because of controlled access highways with entrance and exit ramps.

The good news is that wrong-way crashes occur infrequently on roadways throughout the U.S. However, the bad news is that when they do occur, they are one of the worst collisions on the roads. They occur in roughly 3 percent of accident occurring on high-speed divided highways; however, when compared to other accident types, this is the type of crash that is most likely to result in fatalities and serious injuries.

When looking at causes for these crashes, it was found that impaired drivers were the most likely to travel the wrong-way on high-speed roads. Whether it is alcohol or drugs, impaired drivers are a dangerous factor on the roads. Thus, when a wrong-way crash does occur, it is important to consider the causes. Those harmed in such a crash could hold a negligent driver accountable through a personal injury claim. This action could also help with the recovery of compensation for losses and damages suffered.

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