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Why do wrong-way accidents happen?

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2023 | Car Accidents

The last thing you expect to see when you’re driving down the interstate is a set of headlights coming toward you. One thing that makes the interstate so exceptionally safe is that traffic is all moving in the same direction. Drivers can enter and exit the road, but they do so at predetermined points, using a system of on-ramps and off-ramps.

Unfortunately, what sometimes happens is that a driver will go up an off-ramp, thinking that they are entering the highway in the proper direction. If there isn’t any other traffic on the ramp, that driver could end up on the interstate with no idea that they’re traveling the wrong way. This can lead to very devastating accidents, as two cars may collide at a combined speed of around 150 miles an hour.

Alcohol causes most of these accidents

Impairment, often from alcohol but also from other types of drugs, is often the root cause of these wrong-way accidents.

After all, the road designs are set up to keep drivers going in the proper direction. There are plenty of signs telling someone that they’re going the wrong way from the very moment that they get on the wrong ramp. An alert driver who isn’t impaired could make an absentminded mistake, but it would be quickly rectified.

A drunk driver, on the other hand, may drive quickly and confidently, truly believing that they are on the proper side of the highway. When an accident occurs, it may take just a second or two to happen at such high speeds, and there’s nothing anyone can do to avoid it. This can lead to fatalities and severe, life-altering injuries, so those who have been hurt by an impaired driver must know how to seek financial compensation for medical bills and related costs.