If you have ever been driving down a divided highway, or a one way street and suddenly had a vehicle approach you going in the opposite direction, this can be a scary thing. Not only can these types of accidents be frightening, but if you do not have time enough to get out of the way, they can lead to devastating injuries and even death. If you, or someone you know has been involved in this type of accident, you may need to file a lawsuit.
What Is Wrong-Way Driving?
Wrong-way driving results in a vehicle being driven against the flow of traffic. This can occur on both one and two-way roads, in parking lots, garages, or anywhere else that there is a clear traffic direction. Each year this action results in approximately 350 people being killed.
What Are The Causes Of Wrong-Way Driving?
Wrong-way crashes are normally news worthy. Even if they are not deadly, they often create horrific crash scenes that tie up traffic for an extended time. While many of these accidents are caused by drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, other causes are not always so clear. Some of these include:
- Confusing road signs
- Confusion brought on by sickness, disease, or medications
- Cultural confusion, or drivers used to driving on the opposite side of the road
- Drivers getting on the wrong freeway ramp
- People turning the wrong way on one way streets
- Drivers attempting to take short cuts or catch a missed exit
- Intentional suicide attempts and more
No matter what the cause, the wrong-way drivers' actions puts everyone in the oncoming vehicles at risk of an accident.
What Can You Do To Avoid A Wrong-Way Driver?
There are a few things you can do that may allow you to avoid serious injury.
Pay attention - Wrong-way accidents can happen very quickly. This may seem even more so if you are not paying attention to what is going on around you. Minimize distractions and keep an eye on the road ahead of you. This may give you the ability to see a wrong-way driver before they become a danger to you.
Always wear your seat belt - It has been shown in numerous studies that seat belts saves the lives of both the driver and passengers in the case of auto accidents. They do this in several different ways.
- They keep you in the vehicle and prevent you from being thrown through the windshield. This reduces your chances of being killed.
- The restraint of a seat belt gives your body a chance to slow down in the event of a crash.
- They restrain you at the strongest points of your body which are your shoulders and your hips.
- Seat belts help to spread out the force of the collision over wider areas of your body. By putting less stress on any one body part, you reduce the amount of injury you may sustain.
- The restraint helps to protect you from deadly head and spinal cord injuries.
In addition to protecting you, they are also the law and will keep you from incurring a seat belt ticket in the event of an accident.
Signal your intentions - If you see a wrong-way driver coming your way, flash your headlights in an effort to get their attention. Then use your turn signal to indicate the direction that you are planning to swerve. This will hopefully keep them from swerving in the same direction and will help you to avoid an accident.
Even when you do all of the above, it is not always possible to avoid an accident with a wrong-way driver. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a wrong-way driver contact a car accident attorney. They will be able to review your accident to see if road signage, or any other elements contributed to the cause. If this is the case, you may have a lawsuit not only against the other driver, but against the city, state, or the Department of Transportation as well.