Wrong-way accidents seem to be more frequent than ever before. When a driver enters a street or highway going in the wrong direction, it creates an extremely dangerous situation. Other drivers are unaware of a vehicle coming at them at a high rate of speed, and a head-on accident may occur. This is treacherous for the unaware drivers as well as for the driver going in the wrong direction. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) released a wrong-way driver data summary.
Wrong-Way Driver Crashes Have Increased
The data regarding wrong-way driver crashes indicates that the number of accidents has steadily been increasing. In the last five years, the number of wrong-way crashes has gone up significantly. In 2020, there were 68 wrong-way crashes, in 2021, there were 66 wrong-way crashes, and in 2022, there were 72 accidents due to drivers traveling the wrong way. The period between 2020 and 2022 had the highest number of wrong-way crashes in history. Wrong-way crashes account for approximately 0.2% of all accidents.
What Causes Wrong-Way Crashes?
NCDOT evaluated data over the last five years to determine the causes of wrong-way crashes. Wrong-way crashes most often occurred with drivers who were impaired and older drivers. Approximately 48% of all wrong-way crashes they investigated were considered alcohol-related. 17% of wrong-way accidents occurred with drivers who were over the age of 65. Impairment or distraction likely contributes to many of these types of incidents. It is important to note that many wrong-way drivers conclude their trip without getting into an accident. In fact, many times, drivers go for miles without realizing they are driving on the incorrect side of the road.
When Do Wrong-Way Accidents Happen?
The NCDOT study revealed that more than half of wrong-way crashes happened on weekends, including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. About 45% of the crashes happened between the hours of midnight and 5 AM. These are generally the times of the week when traffic is the lightest. It is also dark, and drivers may be unable to read or understand traffic signs regarding highway entrances and exits. These times are also when it is more likely that drivers may get on the road after having a few drinks, thus impairing their judgment. The time period between midnight and 5 AM is also the period that had the highest fatality rate.
Wrong-way crashes often leave drivers and passengers with very severe injuries or fatalities. Some of these injuries are life-threatening and may require months or even years of recovery and rehabilitation. The negligent driver is responsible for injuries and damages that occurred as a result of their actions. If you were hurt in a wrong-way crash, you may be owed compensation for your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Call us today at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to schedule a consultation to discuss your accident.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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