Wrong-way accidents are considered the most serious type of collision because of their high-speed head-on nature, which often leave vehicles totaled and communities heartbroken because the injuries drivers, and passengers, sustain are often extremely severe with long-term residual effects that require surgery and rehabilitation treatment.
Alcohol is the main factor of wrong-way collisions. Most of these types of accidents occur during the nighttime and early morning hours when the general population may be consuming alcohol.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, Houston has far more wrong-way crashes than any other big city in Texas.
In 2018, there were 98 wrong-way crashes in Houston and 127 outside the city limits, 86 in Dallas, 60 in San Antonio, 20 in Austin, and 14 in Fort Worth.
Even though the number of wrong-way accidents has been steady in Houston for the last several years, there are no signs of this trend decreasing any time soon.
How to avoid an accident if you drive in the opposite direction on the road?
Not all people traveling in the opposite direction on the road should be labeled as ‘crazy’. Whether due to an oversight, visibility problems or bad signaling, we are all exposed to this risk or prone to committing this mistake. Thus, we must know how to act safely to avoid suffering, or causing an accident, or exposing ourselves to a major fine and the loss of points on our driver’s license.
2019 has already registered several major accidents where vehicles were involved in these circumstances, so it is important to note the way in which a driver should proceed if seen in the wrong lane on the road. Here are some guidelines and tips to react safely to this situation.
How to know that you are in the wrong lane?
The main indication that one has taken the wrong lane on a highway is driving against the direction of traffic.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that a clear indication that you are driving on the wrong side of the road is when the median guardrail is to your right and you only see the rear part of the traffic signals and signs.
How to act if you’re driving in the wrong way?
It is very important to not try to look for an exit or to change lanes to exit to your left since these are the main causes that could trigger a collision with another vehicle. Likewise, you should avoid any attempt to turn around, since the high speeds at which you drive on the highway makes it very difficult to safely calculate the right time to do it.
If you are forced to move forward due to the difficulties in stopping your vehicle in these conditions, the NHTSA recommends that you do it as soon as pertinent to your left (slow traffic lane) and to activate all your signaling lights (hazard, headlights and anti-fog), then call 911, and provide accurate data on the location of your vehicle. Then police officers can find you, come to your location, and be in charge of regulating the traffic so that you can return to the right lane safely. Still, they will also likely fine you for unsafe and/or reckless driving.
Both the NHTSA and the Texas Highway Patrol Division make it clear that the first thing that a driver must do when driving in the opposite direction is to stop whenever possible and do it as far as possible from the road or the closest to the left. Next, contact the highway patrol, activate the vehicle’s emergency lights, put on a reflector vest (if available), place warning triangles, and move away from the road.
What to do if we find a wrong way driver on the road?
These are some tips from the NHTSA so you know what to do in case you come across a driver going in the opposite direction:
If you notice that there is a vehicle moving on the wrong side of the same road or if you see the car coming your way in the opposite direction, it is advisable to get off the highway if at all possible. If this is not possible, the next step is to move to the right lane, leaving the left lane free so that the wrong-way driver can move away.
If you see the vehicle coming towards you, turn on the headlights and fog lights (if available), so that the vehicle traveling in the opposite direction sees you more easily.
Do not brake too hard or reduce speed abruptly because the drivers behind you could hit you.
In the event that the wrong-way driver is heading directly to your car, slow down, turn right to the shoulder and turn on the hazard lights.
Once you are aware of a vehicle driving in the wrong way, call 911 and notify the police as soon as possible.
Compensation in lawsuits related to wrong-way car accidents.
Emergency medical care
-X-rays and other studies
-Loss of current income (salary)
-Loss of future income
-Future medical expenses
-Pain and suffering
… and more
In case you or a loved one has been involved in a wrong-way accident that results in injury or death, the lawyers at PMR Law can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys work hard to try and get reckless drivers and insurance companies to compensate you as much as possible so you can cover the expenses and damages related to your recovery. These expenses and damages may include:
It is important that you know your rights in terms of Lawsuits Related to Automobile Accidents.
Contact us at 832-481-3427 so you know how we can help you. Our friendly staff will ask you some questions about your issue and connect you with a car accident lawsuit lawyer. You can also fill out the “Free Evaluation Form” found here.
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