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Why do most wrong-way crashes happen?

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Like any other motor vehicle accidents, wrong-way crashes are going to be unique. There are numerous different causes from one accident to the next. For instance, young drivers may get confused, causing an accident because they don’t have much experience. Additionally, many wrong-way accidents happen at night, so visibility issues could make it harder for someone to tell which direction they should be traveling. Maybe it was too dark for them to see the wrong-way signs properly.

But reasons like this are relatively rare. When you’re looking at accidents on the interstate, the on-ramps and off-ramps are usually very well marked. Visibility shouldn’t be an issue. Young drivers may get confused, but they should quickly realize their mistake, probably before they even enter the highway. So why do these crashes keep occurring? 

Drivers are impaired

The big problem is that most wrong-way drivers who cause fatal accidents are intoxicated. Their impairment is the reason that they don’t realize they’re driving the wrong way or that they miss those wrong-way signs. That impairment is also why they don’t immediately recognize their mistake and get off the road so that they can get turned around.

Most of the time, the impairment comes from alcohol. But anything that alters a person’s ability to think clearly could lead to such a mistake. The wrong-way driver could be under the influence of marijuana, for example, or certain prescription medications.

If you’ve been hit by a wrong-way driver and suffered serious injuries – or lost a loved one – then you need to know how to seek financial compensation for medical bills and other costs.