Of all the ways a negligent driver can crash their car, truck or SUV into another vehicle, a wrong-way collision may be the scariest. Imagine you are on the highway when you spot a vehicle coming right at you. With just a few seconds to react, you try to swerve out of the way. Will you avoid the wrong-way driver, or will your vehicles crash head-on at highway speeds?
Sadly, far too often, drivers in Ohio cannot escape the path of a wrong-way driver. In fact, fatalities in wrong-way car crashes are a nationwide problem. And it is getting worse.
Deaths are going up
According to a news report, the AAA Foundation for Public Safety recently released a study on this grim subject. AAA found that from 2005-09, an average of 360 people per year were killed in wrong-way wrecks. Then, from 2010-19, the average annual fatalities jumped to about 430. Within that ten-year period, the worst years were 2015-18, when an average of 500 people were killed annually.
What causes drivers to go the wrong direction?
Most responsible drivers cannot imagine driving on the wrong side of the highway, but it does happen. The three most common reasons that a driver ends up going the wrong way are drunk driving, old age and driving by oneself. Alcohol is behind more than 60 percent of fatalities in wrong-way car accidents, according to AAA. The study also found that drivers over 70 were more likely to wind up on the wrong side of the highway. Finally, AAA believes that having a passenger in the car can help prevent the driver from making a mistake like entering the road through an exit ramp.
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a wrong-way driver, or if you lost a family member to this type of crash, you could be entitled to significant compensation for the other driver’s negligence.