Alarming Statistics About Wrong-Way Driving
As the name indicates, wrong-way driving involves a motorist operating a vehicle against the flow of traffic. When accidents involve wrong-way drivers, they typically result in head-on crashes. As you might imagine, wrong-way collisions have the potential to cause devastating injuries. In 2012, the National Transportation Safety Board released a special report about wrong-way driving. For purposes of its study, the NTSB defined wrong-way driving as operating a vehicle against traffic on high-speed highways and access ramps. According to this report, the fatality rate for wrong-way crashes is 27 percent higher than standard collisions.
Who Causes Wrong-Way Crashes?
The NTSA data reveals that approximately 60 percent of all wrong-way crashes are caused by drunk drivers. Elderly drivers are also involved in a high number of wrong-way collisions, with drivers age 70 and older responsible for 15 percent of head-on accidents.
When Do Wrong-Way Crashes Happen?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority of wrong-way car accidents happen at night. According to the NTSA, 78 percent of wrong-way collisions occur between the hours of 6pm and 6am. Over half of all wrong-way car crashes happen on the weekends, with slightly higher statistics for Saturday and Sunday evenings versus Friday nights. Additionally, the study determined that most wrong-way accidents happen because the at-fault driver incorrectly entered a highway on-ramp from the wrong direction. NTSA researchers found that larger warning signs and advanced traffic monitoring systems could greatly reduce the amount of driver error, thereby leading to a reduction in head-on collisions.
Arkansas Personal Injury Law Firm
When you consider motor vehicle accidents as a whole, wrong-way collisions are relatively rare. Of all types of vehicle accidents, wrong-way crashes comprise just three percent or about 300 wrong-way accidents per year. Because these crashes have such a high fatality rate, however, they are almost always serious events.