Driving in the Wrong Direction Can Directly Result in Serious Personal Injury
A disturbing vehicular trend has had a detrimental effect on communities all across the country. That is, driving in the wrong direction. Whether the result is from driving under the influence, distracted driving, or simply making a terrible mistake, the results can be catastrophic in terms of personal injury to the driver and to you as an innocent bystander.
If you happen to be the victim of a vehicular car wreck as a result of driving in the wrong direction, one of the first actions you need to take is to hire the best personal injury attorney you can find. Says theLaw Offices of Willie D. Powells III & Associates, a Houston personal injury lawyer, and a reputable attorney, will make a solid commitment to protect the values and rights of not only the injured party or parties but also the community at large inside and outside the courtroom. A truly exceptional personal injury attorney will strive to make the community a safer place for all its citizens.
This includes finding a solution to the problem of driving in the wrong direction problem. According to a recent report by AAA Newsroom, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been warning the U.S. population about the climbing rate of wrong-way car crashes for some time now.
In fact, wrong-way crashes that involve fatalities on U.S. divided highways are said to be a devastating and persistent threat that’s only getting worse. The latest data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests over 2,000 fatalities from wrong-way driving wrecks on highways between 2015 and 2018. This represents around 500 fatalities per year, which is up a whopping 34 percent from 375 deaths per year in the four years between 2010 and 2014. Research shows that wrong-way driving increases with alcohol and drug impairment, old age, and even driving alone.
Drivers with blood alcohol concentrations over the legal limit of 0.08g/dl were said to be more likely to become wrong-direction drivers than drivers who didn’t partake in alcohol or legal marijuana (many drivers smoke pot while driving—a recipe for disaster).
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of drugs (legalized or illicit) and alcohol is said to be currently listed on NTSB’s Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, which is the organization’s primary advocacy instrument. The list is able to identify the most paramount safety improvements that can potentially prevent vehicular crashes, save lives, and minimize injuries.
Says the NTSB Director of Office of Highway Safety, alcohol remains the biggest factor in wrong-way driving crashes despite the agency having issued its Wrong-Way Driving Report as far back as 2012.
The NTSB official goes on to say that the work being done by AAA proves that efforts need to be redoubled when it comes to addressing wrong-direction car wrecks that result in serious personal injury. Interventions such as ignition interlock devices intended for all previously arrested offenders, along with high-visibility law enforcement efforts, can reduce wrong-way crashes, which, in the end, can be devastating. But with police being defunded, it’s difficult to place enough law enforcement on the roads to prevent these tragedies. To allow for more police on the roads, there would need to be a major cultural shift in the U.S.—something that will likely come sooner than later.
Making U-Turns in the Midst of Rising Wrong Direction Crashes
Says AAA Newsroom, adding to preventative measures like high-visibility law enforcement and ignition interlock devices, the NTSB is pleading with state policymakers to consider legislation that would enact “effective infrastructure countermeasures” against wrong-way driving. These include but are not limited to more visible electronic signals and traffic signs installed at the right locations andengineered to comply with national standards.
Since older drivers are considerably over-represented in wrong-direction crashes, the NTSB is urging states to alter their laws to assist with identifying medically at-risk drivers. This includes cognitively disabled drivers and physically disabled drivers. This type of legislation is designed to save lives, but that doesn’t mean it will become law.
In the end, the NTSB and AAA want to remind drivers that they must use common sense when they get behind the wheel of their vehicles. If you’ve been smoking pot or drinking alcohol, don’t drive. If you’re from another country and don’t yet understand the rules of the U.S. roads, you need to educate yourself. If you’re getting older and have trouble seeing “Do Not Enter” signage, it might be time to let someone else do the driving.