Representing Injured People

Wrong-way driving: Why does it happen?

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2023 | Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents

Some of the most dangerous car accidents that ever happen are wrong-way crashes. Speed is a major issue in the high fatality rate for these accidents. When they happen on the interstate, the speed limit could be 70 miles an hour. But that means that two drivers who are following the speed limit would still be facing a combined speed of 140 miles an hour upon impact.

Of course, this type of accident should never happen. For one thing, it should be obvious to any driver that they are entering the highway going the wrong direction simply because traffic will be moving against them. Additionally, the road design and signage itself should make it clear to them which ramps they are supposed to use. So why do these accidents happen?

Most offending drivers are impaired

What research has discovered is that most of the drivers who cause these crashes are suffering from some sort of impairment. Often, alcohol use is cited as the major reason for this impairment. But drivers could also be impaired if they have been using Illegal drugs or even some prescription medications. In fact, since prescription medications are so often used recreationally these days, they are a significant risk factor.

There are minor cases where impairment is not involved, such as a situation where a driver is suffering from a medical condition, cognitive issues, mental confusion or something of this nature. Young drivers could make a mistake because they’re not familiar with the interstate system, for instance, or elderly drivers could be suffering from confusion brought on by Alzheimer’s or dementia.

But most accidents happen because someone was negligent and impaired by alcohol. Those who have lost loved ones or suffered serious injuries in these crashes need to know about all of their legal options.