Collisions with wrong-way drivers can be catastrophic, and many end up being fatal. Though these accidents are preventable, they are still a problem that affects many people. In fact, it is estimated that more than 400 people die each year due to wrong-way accidents in the United States.
Driver error is the leading cause of wrong-way car accidents. The most common errors or serious mistakes made by drivers include:
The fatality rate for wrong-way crashes is 12 to 27 percent higher than all other types of motor vehicle accidents. When they are not fatal, drivers and passengers often sustain extremely severe injuries that typically require surgery, long-term medical treatment, and rehabilitation.
A driver traveling the wrong way on the road is typically at fault for an accident. Drivers in California owe a duty of care to others on the road, which means they must drive safely and obey traffic laws, signs and signals. A breach of that duty of care is any instance of driver negligence, such as speeding, driving under the influence, or driving the wrong way on the highway. Therefore, when a wrong-way driver causes an accident, they are responsible for resulting damages.
However, there can be multiple liable parties. For example, a government entity can be partially responsible for confusing traffic signs or a construction company if they removed or blocked an on-ramp sign, etc. No matter who is to blame, hiring an attorney will be in your best interests. Your attorney will investigate who caused the accident and will gather evidence to support your claim for compensation.
Driving defensively and staying aware of any potential threats, particularly at night, is the best way to protect yourself from a possible wrong-way driver. Wrong-way accidents are unpredictable, and most times, the driver will be traveling in your fast lane because they think they are in the slow lane. If you do happen to see a wrong-way driver, do the following:
If an accident is inevitable, try to avoid the vehicle at all costs. It is safer to crash into a stationary object rather than hit a moving car head-on.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a wrong-way accident, contact Goldblatt + Singer. Our St. Louis car accident attorneys offer free consultations and will help you fight for the compensation you deserve.