Most drivers entering divided highways use the proper exit and entrance ramps without fail. However, some drivers mistakenly enter the highway using the wrong ramp. This puts drivers and passengers in immediate danger as they are moving against the normal flow of fast-moving traffic. Up to 350 people are killed on the nation’s freeways annually due to wrong-way accidents. For this reason, wrong-way accidents can be devastating. Those that do not end in fatalities often cause serious injuries.
Why Wrong-Way Accidents Happen
Although every wrong-way accident occurs for unique reasons, these types of accidents share common issues. For instance, drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more likely to go the wrong way than other drivers. Additionally, new drivers or drivers unfamiliar with certain areas can put others at risk by incorrectly navigating on and off ramps. Interestingly, studies show that elderly drivers may also be at-fault for wrong-way crashes.
Other noted reasons for drivers to go the wrong way include excessive speeding, inadequately lit ramp signs, removed ramp signs, and roads that do not indicate which way the traffic should flow. Consequently, not all wrong-way accidents are the driver’s fault, especially if poor infrastructure and signage problems are to blame. Statistics suggest 78 percent of wrong-way incidents happen during dusk and nighttime hours, causing speculation that bad lighting may be a contributing factor.
Types of Wrong-Way Accidents
Because wrong-way accidents happen when a driver is moving against the normal traffic flow, head-on collisions are the most typically seen wrong-way crash. Yet, other types of crashes can and do happen. For instance, if a car speeds into oncoming traffic, other drivers may not have the opportunity to move out of the car’s path. As they pull to the side, they may get side-swiped by the opposite vehicle. Alternatively, they may rear-end another vehicle if they speed up to move away from the immediate danger. Regardless of the type of wrong-way crash, it can prove fatal or cause significant injuries and scarring that will last a lifetime.
Common Wrong-Way Accident Injuries
What types of injuries are most reported from wrong-way crashes? Similar to various other types of roadway incidents, traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, top the list; as do spinal cord issues and broken bones. Internal bruising and bleeding are other common wrong-way accident injuries. Each of these injury types can be devastating and cost thousands in immediate medical bills.
DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Represent Clients Injured in Wrong-Way Accidents
If you were hurt in a crash that was caused by a driver going the wrong way, contact the DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King today. We will hold the negligent party liable for your injuries and obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, DC, we serve clients throughout DC and Maryland.