According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), about 400 people die in wrong-way accidents each year. While this is a relatively small percentage of the over 30,000 car accident fatalities that happen across the country each year, wrong-way accidents are notable for two reasons: they are almost always entirely preventable and they have a much higher-than-average rate of fatalities.
Across all collisions, the rate of fatalities is under one percent. For wrong-way collisions, that jumps to 22%. Being in a wrong-way accident in Hollywood or your community is more likely to lead to fatal or serious injury, in part because speeding is often a factor in these crashes. In many cases, these are drunk driving accidents and can be prevented.
How can you prevent wrong-way crashes? There are a few things you can do:
1) Reduce your risk of driving on the wrong side of the road.
Many wrong-way crashes are caused by impaired drivers. You can avoid many wrong-way crashes simply by driving sober and avoiding fatigued or drugged driving. In Hollywood or your community, take proactive action and join groups committed to preventing DUI accidents.
You can also prevent driving on the wrong side of the road by staying focused. It’s easy to miss traffic signs if you’re in an unfamiliar area or are on the phone. Keep your mind and eyes on the road and traffic cues around you. And look down – if you’re seeing red road reflectors, you’re driving on the wrong side of the road.
2) Know what the risks are.
You’re most likely to be involved in a wrong-way accident in the evenings and on the weekends and on highways – especially on highway ramps. The majority of wrong-way head-on crashes happen in these locations and at these times. Use extra caution when driving on the highway at night or on the weekend.
3) Scan the road ahead of you.
If another car is in your lane, you might only have seconds to respond. You can increase the amount of time you have by scanning ahead of you and behind you. If you see a car headed your way, you can use your horn or take evasive action to prevent an accident.
4) Use your lights.
Headlights and signal lights can help others spot you and can make you visible to others. In bad weather and at night, especially, do what you can to ensure other motorists can see you.
5) Respond fast if you see a car headed towards you in your lane.
If you’re aware of where traffic is around you, you can make better choices about where to move to avoid a collision. If a car is suddenly in your lane and a head-on crash is imminent, swerve right or towards the shoulder of the road.
If you have been hit by a wrong-way driver, you may have a legal claim because the other driver was negligent in not following the rules of the road. To find out whether you have a claim in your specific situation, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation.