What causes wrong way collisions? Are there things motorists can do to protect themselves from entanglement when these risks become a reality? There are many causes of these types of accidents. These include age and experience, as well as alcohol consumption and road design. While the risk is ever present, you can protect yourself by not drinking behind the wheel, adhering to posted speed and navigation signs, and staying alert for the actions of motorists in you immediate vicinity.
Causes of Wrong Way Accidents
A significant portion of drivers, roughly 69%, who are involved in wrong way crashes are under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. By comparison, that is more than twice the 31% recorded for all fatal motor vehicle accidents.
Older drivers and younger drivers are more likely to be involved in a wrong way accident. This data shows that youthful inexperience behind the wheel and diminished mental capacity may play a considerable role in creating risk.
When a wrong way accident occurs, it is most likely to occur at night when visibility is diminished and when drowsy drivers are more prone to making a mistake behind the wheel. Approximately 78% of all wrong way auto collisions occur during the evening and early morning hours when visibility is limited. Further, weekends are significantly more dangerous, as 57% of wrong way accidents happen on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
Improving Road Safety
Recognizing the real risks of wrong way accidents, legislators and road designers are finally starting to take action. Their efforts include posting additional signage around known hazard areas, redesigning roads to accommodate increased traffic congestion.
Some communities are installing dual radar systems, cameras, and other devices designed to deter unauthorized entry into the traffic lanes. In areas where active steps have been taken to reduce accident rates, the number of wrong way accidents occurring has fallen by 30% or more.
This positive result shows that coordination between construction companies, road traffic engineers, and municipal governments can protect the public from harm while having no negative impact on traffic congestion and other problems caused by "bad" or poorly marked intersections.
Liability for Wrong Way Claims
Liability depends on who/what is responsible for causing, or contributing to cause a motor vehicle accident. While the at fault driver can be pursued, you can also pursue claims against their insurance provider, the owner or municipality responsible for maintaining safe conditions.
When a municipality or other government entity causes a wrong way accident, individuals have the right to file a compensation against these defendants at any point up to the applicable statute of limitations for a motor vehicle accident claim.
Brad Pistotnik Law is a Wichita law firm that represents clients in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois following auto collisions. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and the steps we recommend for pursuing your motor vehicle accident claim.