Being involved in a wrong-way accident is terrifying. You never expect it, it happens incredibly quickly, and there may be nothing you can do to avoid the crash. Every time a wrong-way crash is reported in the news, people worry that it could happen to them.
While it could, the odds are small. The Federal Highway Administration reports that a mere 1 percent of all deadly accidents are wrong-way crashes. Between 300 and 400 people pass away in these crashes each year.
That being said, the FHA does note that these accidents tend to be far more severe than other wrecks. Most of them are direct head-on collisions, one of the most dangerous types of accidents. Speed is also an issue. If two cars are traveling toward each other on the interstate at 75 miles per hour, that wreck is similar to slamming into a fixed structure at 150 miles per hour.
So, while the accidents may not happen as often as other types, the odds of being killed or seriously hurt could be far higher.
Officials have been working to implement new strategies to reduce the amount of these accidents, due to the extreme danger. These crashes should never happen on controlled interstates, with designated on-ramps and wrong-way signs, but, as long as they continue to take lives, more drastic measures may be needed.
Have you been hit by a wrong-way driver, perhaps one who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time? Drunk driving is a common cause of wrong-way crashes, and you need to know what legal rights you have to seek compensation.
Source: Federal Highway Administration, "Wrong-Way Driving," accessed July 21, 2017