If you are driving on the road and see a driver either actually driving in the wrong lane or going in the wrong direction, it is a terrifying experience. Unfortunately, wrong-way collisions are common in the United States and a substantial cause of accidents resulting in injuries or even death. Wrong-way accidents typically result in head-on collisions, which have a much more catastrophic impact than other types of car accidents. In many cases, these accidents will result in severe injuries or death.
Common Causes of Wrong-Way Accidents
If a driver actually drives their vehicle into the opposite direction of traffic, a resulting crash is considered a wrong-way accident. There are several typical causes of wrong-way accidents, including the following:
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving is by far one of the most common reasons for all accidents in the United States, including wrong-way accidents. The increase in cell phone usage to not only talk, but also to illegally text while driving, has increased the number of accidents substantially. However, there are other ways in which a driver may be distracted such as eating, drinking, looking for a dropped item, changing the radio station, chatting with other passengers, or even “rubber-necking” and looking at a primary accident on the roadway that has already occurred.
- Driving while fatigued. If a driver is driving while drowsy or fatigued, research shows this is just as deadly as someone getting behind the wheel of a car drunk or under the influence of drugs. In fact, drowsy driving contributes to over 6,400 deaths annually.
- Senior drivers. Many elderly drivers continue to operate a motor vehicle even if they do not have good eyesight, or have poor motor skills that prevent quick reaction times. In many cases, a senior driver will actually turn the wrong way onto an exit ramp into oncoming traffic on the highway. If you have an elderly loved one, make sure to visit with them regarding their ability to truly operate a motor vehicle safely.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will have less cognitive function and ability, making them easily turn the wrong way on a road into oncoming traffic.
- Emergencies. In some rare cases, accidents and emergencies happen on the roadways that are not preventable. If a driver happens to have a stroke, seizure, or heart attack while on the road, it may lead to a wrong-way accident.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
If you were involved in a wrong-way car accident, you are likely facing astronomical medical bills, continued medical treatment, the loss of wages due to the inability to return to work, property damage, and pain and suffering. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Griggs Injury Law at (816) 474-0202 to help you understand how you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.