According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), collisions involving motorists driving the wrong way on limited access highways are more likely to result in fatalities. In fact, statistics show that 22 percent of wrong-way collisions are deadly, while there is a less than 1 percent fatality rate for of all other motor vehicle accidents. Here are some important facts about wrong-way collisions:
- Three percent of all accidents on limited access highways are wrong-way collisions.
- One Virginia study determined that wrong-way collisions are 27 times more likely to result in fatalities than other types of motor vehicle accidents.
- There are approximately 260 wrong-way collisions every year.
- Approximately 360 people die in wrong-way collisions each year.
- Alcohol-impaired drivers are involved in 69 percent of all wrong-way collisions.
- The majority of wrong-way collisions take place between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- A driver entering the highway via an exit ramp is the cause of most wrong-way collisions.
- Drivers over the age of 70 are responsible for a disproportionately large amount of fatal wrong-way collisions. These drivers account for 15 percent of deadly wrong-way crashes.
And the number of older drivers continues to increase. Only 66 percent of the 70 or older demographic held a driver’s license in 1990. By 2009, that number had increased to 84 percent. Projections estimate that by 2025, twenty percent of the population of the United States will be 65 or older.
How to Avoid Wrong-way Collisions
There are three common reasons for wrong-way driving, they involve impaired drivers, inexperienced drivers, and drivers who lack mental alertness. To help protect you and your loved ones from these kinds of drivers, SafeAmerica.org has put together some life-saving driving tactics.
- Keep your head up. Constantly scan the freeway ahead of you for approaching danger. Frequently, people will only look directly in front of their vehicles, when you can easily see a minimum of one-quarter mile down the road when traffic is light.
- Swerve to the right when trying to avoid a wrong-way driver. Wrong-way drivers will commonly move to the right side of the freeway, or fast lane, immediately upon entering. They move to what they believe is the slow lane because they are most likely impaired and don’t want to be pulled over for speeding.
- Fasten your seat belt and look out for the safety of others. Head-on collisions and side-swipes represent the majority of wrong-way crashes. Wearing your seat belt in either of these scenarios could be the difference between life or death. Even if you avoid collision with a wrong-way driver, pull over as soon as you safely can and dial 911. Alerting the authorities could save someone else’s life down the road.
- Watch out for red reflectors. Many road reflectors used today are white on one side and red on the other. Few people know this because they seldom drive on the wrong side of the road. If you do see red reflectors, stop and turn around. It’s you who is on the wrong side of the road.
Contact Our Denver Car Accident Lawyers
When your accident and injuries are caused by a negligent wrong way driver, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries and for damages. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always play fair and that can leave injured accident victims without enough compensation to pay their medical expenses and recover. Call the Denver attorneys at Paysinger Law, P.C. today to discuss your case. Our law firm offers FREE case consultations and can be reached at 303.279.0221.
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