The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration has defined a wrong way driving (WWD) accident as one in which “a vehicle traveling in a direction opposing the legal flow of traffic on a high-speed divided highway or access ramp collides with a vehicle traveling on the same roadway in the proper direction.” These types of accidents commonly occur on freeways and the freeways’ entrance and exit ramps. WWD crashes result in up to 400 fatalities every year on average. Even though these accidents are seen as rare occurrences, they are viewed as being generally more severe accidents than other traffic accidents.
Why Do Wrong-Way Car Accidents Happen?
Wrong-way car accidents can happen if a driver is confused or is unfamiliar with the streets and highways in a new city. Other reasons include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Poor weather conditions.
- Distracted driving.
- Missing or confusing road signs.
- Switching lanes or passing another vehicle inappropriately.
- Confusion in a heavy construction zone.
Another common reason for wrong-way car accidents happens when a driver takes a sudden and extreme turn in order to prevent a head-on collision into another vehicle, object or pedestrian. Some cities have signs or sensors that can send messages to wrong-way drivers and other motorists. However, these safety measures are expensive for many cities, and these cities don’t bother installing signage and sensors unless there have been various reported accidents.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be held liable for a wrong way car accident if you were driving while intoxicated or distracted. However, you and your attorney can help prove your case by showing that the accident occurred due to confusing signage, poor weather, heavy construction or the negligence of another driver.
If you have been involved in a wrong-way car accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact Adam E. Grutzmacher today for a free consultation.