On-Road Fatalities: Wrong Way Crashes Spike in Numbers
The epidemic of crashes occurring due to motorists traveling the wrong way has swept through America throughout the last decade. Characterized by their sudden and severe nature, these collisions, according to the Daily Herald article, “Harsh and Sudden Death: How Wrong-Way Crashes are Increasing in Illinois and Elsewhere”, are becoming more frequent in Illinois.
Contributing Data & Inhibitors
The article cites data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which shows that wrong-way crashes account for less than 1% of all crashes in the U.S. but are responsible for nearly 3% of all accident-related fatalities. In Illinois, the number of wrong-way crashes has increased by 15% in the past three years. That said, the state is working to implement new safety measures to reduce the number of these crashes.
Inhibitor: Impaired Driving
One of the factors contributing to the increase in wrong-way crashes is impaired driving. According to the NHTSA, 60% of wrong-way drivers have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level above the legal limit. In addition, many wrong-way drivers are elderly, and have difficulty navigating roads or recognizing signs due to declining cognitive abilities.
Inhibitor: Poor Road Design
Confusing or inadequate signage can also contribute to accidents caused by drivers traveling on highways and roads in the wrong direction. In some cases, motorists may not realize they are going the wrong way until it is too late.
Addressing the Issue
To address the issue of wrong-way crashes, several states have implemented new technologies, including cameras, radar systems, and signage, to detect and warn drivers of oncoming traffic. These systems are designed to alert drivers of the potential danger and stop them from entering highways or roads in the wrong direction.
In addition, states are working to educate drivers on the dangers of wrong-way crashes and the steps they can take to prevent them. This includes providing information on safe and defensive driving practices, such as staying alert, avoiding distractions, and following the correct lane markings.
Call an Attorney for Help After a Wrong-Way Crash
Wrong-way crashes are a growing concern in Illinois and other states in the US. With the increasing number of these crashes, it is important for states to take proactive steps to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries that occur on the roads. Reducing these accidents can be achieved through education, technology, and improved road design. As drivers, it is also important to be aware of the dangers of wrong-way crashes and to take responsibility for our own safety by avoiding impaired driving and staying alert on the road.
If you were involved in a collision caused by a driver traveling the incorrect way, reach out to our attorneys at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. for help.