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Are Wrong-Way Car Accident Deaths Increasing?

Wrong-Way Car Accident Deaths

Wrong-way car accidents are becoming an increasing concern among those that study highway safety. Those who study this information have looked at the data from 2010 to 2014 compared with 2014 to 2018.  In the earlier years, the average number of wrong-way car accident deaths in the United States was about 375 per year, whereas in more recent years, that number was up to about to about 500 deaths per year. These numbers are concerning, and they seem to be increasing even further.  It is important to know that wrong-way car accidents are usually more deadly because they are usually head-on collisions.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is trying to address the problem by urging states to adopt countermeasures to reduce the likelihood that drivers will end up driving the wrong way on the road.  Some of those measures include the following steps:

  • Establishing more sobriety checkpoints
  • Alcohol ignition locks
  • Refresher driving courses for older drivers

The countermeasures tell the story of the major factors that increase the chances of wrong-way driving:

  • Older drivers who may be out of practice with driving
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol

Other facts that the NTSB has learned about wrong-way driving over the past few years of studying this problem include the following:

  • Approximately 78 percent of wrong-way accidents occur between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
  • Drivers over the age of 70 are overrepresented in wrong-way accidents.
  • Most wrong-way accidents occur over the weekend.
  • Most wrong-way drivers are under the influence of alcohol.
  • The majority of wrong-way accidents happen when drivers attempt to enter a road on an exit ramp.
  • More than half of the wrong-way accidents are the fault of the intoxicated driver.
  • Most wrong-way accidents occur in the lane closest to the median.

A study by the California Department of Transportation showed that red reflective markers on ramps reduced wrong-way driving by 44 percent.  If the lights were flashing, the wrong-way driving was reduced by 60 percent.  That state has embarked on a major campaign to reduce the likelihood of wrong-way driving by discouraging impaired drivers; installing barriers; and engaging in education campaigns at schools, pharmacies, and businesses.  The state has also worked to identify specific roadways that are more prone to wrong-way driving and evaluate any roadway improvements that could prevent the wrong-way accidents in those areas.

Other ways to combat wrong-way driving include installing more visible traffic signs that indicate when drivers are driving the wrong way.  National standards for signage are best to create uniformity among the states.  Additionally, advocates say that states should change laws to identify medically at-risk drivers to keep everyone on the road safe.

Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Help Those Injured in a Car Accident

With wrong-way car accidents on the rise, drivers are more at risk of encountering a wrong-way driver and sustaining injuries in a car accident.  If you have been in a wrong-way accident, or any other type of car accident, the Atlantic City car accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm can provide legal assistance and inform you of any potential damages that may apply to your claim.  Call us today at 609-926-3300 or contact us online for a free consultation. With an office in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we assist accident victims in Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, Woodbury, and across South Jersey.