When we get into our cars each morning to go to work, we accept that while we are safe drivers ourselves, we cannot control the behavior of other drivers with whom we share the road. Some drivers may be intoxicated, or choose to text or talk on the phone while driving. This type of behavior often leads to dangerous consequences.
One of the most dangerous consequences is a wrong-way driving collision. According to the National Transportation Safety Board's 2012 Special Investigation Report, 22% of wrong-way driving accidents were fatal in a Michigan study, compared to 0.3% of all highway accidents in the same time frame. Wrong-way crashes usually occur head-on, and involve a strong force of impact.
What You Can Do
Because of their severity, it's important to know what you can do to protect yourself in the event that you encounter a driver going the wrong way down the road.
- Be alert. Before you can avoid a wrong-way driver, you have to see him or her. Be alert and aware of your surroundings, especially at night. If a driver is confused or disoriented enough to drive the wrong way on a road, there may be other signs that something is wrong. If you notice a vehicle in the distance erratically braking or swerving, get out of the way immediately, rather than waiting until you are seconds from a head-on collision.
- Get out of the way. The most important thing to do, of course, is to get out of the way of the wrong-way driver. Change lanes, pull over to the side of the road, adjust your speed, and do whatever else is necessary to stay away, without overreacting and getting into an accident yourself.
- Make a scene. Once you realize someone is driving the wrong way, you should draw as much attention to that car, and to the situation, as possible. You should dial 911. However, law enforcement officers cannot follow a vehicle going the wrong way. This means it's important to get the driver's attention so he realizes he is doing something wrong. You also want to alert other drivers to get out of harm's way. You can draw attention to the situation by honking your horn and flashing your lights.
Wrong-Way Collision Victims
If someone driving the wrong way hits you, you will most likely suffer from serious injuries. The last thing you or your family members should have to worry about is paying medical bills. In this case, it's important to contact Norton & Norfleet, P.C.'s Kansas City personal injury attorneys. They will help prove liability, and fight for your medical care and lost wage compensation. Consultations are free, so call today at (816) 607-4750.