Wrong-way car accidents are the most dangerous type of car crash. Unfortunately, these accidents have increased in frequency over the past decade, and the numbers keep rising. While alcohol is the number one cause of this type of vehicle crash, many other groups are at-risk, and some may not even know it.
This type of car crash, the most dangerous of all, often results in fatalities because it usually involves head-on collisions. Further, these accidents often extend to include other vehicles because they can easily cause a ripple effect when the two cars collide.
Oftentimes, the vehicles driving behind the car colliding with the one driving against traffic are also affected. The car driving in the proper direction will usually hit the brakes, shift to switch lanes to avoid the oncoming vehicle or move the car to the shoulder area of the roadway.
Can these accidents be prevented?
In many cases, yes. Driving under the influence of alcohol is the number one cause of wrong-way vehicle crashes. Additional risk factors include:
- Drivers over the age of 70 years old
- Teenage and very young drivers
- Drivers under the influence of drugs
- People who drive when it is dark
When we think of people driving under the influence of drugs, we think of illegal drugs. However, we usually don’t consider those who may be under treatment for certain medical conditions. Those people may be taking prescription medications that may impair their ability to drive safely.
It is critical for those who take any prescription medications to ask their doctors whether it is safe for them to drive.
Using your smartphone while driving?
Using technology devices while driving is a significant risk factor. People of all ages fall into this category because almost everyone has a mobile phone or smartphone. While some states have enacted legislation prohibiting cell phone use while driving, others have not.
Also, many drivers in states that prohibit the use of cell phones choose to use cell phones anyway, violating the law and putting themselves and others at risk.
Wrong-way vehicle accidents are dangerous, and the numbers are going up. This should concern all of us. We all must keep in mind how we can prevent these accidents from happening and drive accordingly.