Wrong Way Accidents Can Be Prevented
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wrong-way accidents constitute less than 3 percent of total highway collisions. However, though they might be infrequent, they are also often fatal. In one tragedy, three Colorado residents died in a head-on crash near Pueblo, when a trailer, traveling the wrong way on Interstate 25 collided with an SUV. The crash killed both drivers and a minor passenger.
Most wrong-way collisions occur at night, between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. More than two-thirds of drivers involved in wrong-way accidents have an above-average number of driving citations, and 19 percent were found to not have proper licensure at all.
In an effort to reduce wrong-way crashes, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a report offering guidelines for the avoidance of wrong-way accidents. General guidelines include:
- Awareness and prevention of drug and alcohol-related driving incidences;
- Design of highway on-ramps and off-ramps that gives drivers a completely separate and distinct view in each direction;
- Driver onboard systems to detect and prevent wrong-way driving
Given that alcohol is one of the most prevalent risks for major injuries and highway fatalities, it is no surprise alcohol use is often implicated in wrong-way collisions. All data shows that the highest number of wrong-way crashes were caused by repeat offenders of driving while intoxicated citations.
There is speculation in some states that installed alcohol-detection devices might be the solution to cutting all alcohol-related accidents, including the highly fatal wrong-way variety. Installed devices disable the starting mechanism of the car until the driver breathes into the device. If the alcohol level in the driver’s breath is below the legal limit, the car starts. While all states have some requirement for ignition interlock devices for DUI offenders, there is no mandatory interlock device required that would prevent the first offense. Until that happens, car accidents and injuries to innocent drivers and pedestrians will continue.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence or recklessness of another driver, you should contact a Denver personal injury lawyer. Call the law firm of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P. C. at 303-792-5595 or contact us online to talk to us about your case for free.