Any car accident has the potential to cause great damage, but wrong-way crashes can be particularly destructive. According to the American Automobile Association, wrong-way collisions occur when a driver moves against the flow of traffic.
This kind of accident happens more often than people may realize. Wrong-way collisions caused the deaths of 2,008 people between 2015 and 2018. On average, these crashes cause 500 deaths each year. Because drivers move against traffic, they usually cause a head-on collision when they encounter another vehicle. This raises the chance that the crash will be fatal.
Why do wrong-way collisions occur?
Several different factors can result in a driver moving the wrong way. Someone with a higher blood alcohol concentration has a greater chance of driving against traffic. Additionally, people can make this mistake when they drive under the influence of drugs.
Sometimes, age can be a factor. One study found that people have a higher chance of driving against traffic after they turn 70. Drivers are also more likely to cause a wrong-way collision when they are alone in a vehicle. Passengers can often point out a sign or a median that the driver may not have seen.
What kind of injuries could people sustain?
FindLaw says that people can incur a wound from any car accident. However, a head-on collision can result in particularly severe injuries. People may be more likely to sustain injuries to their heads and necks. If drivers and passengers survive the crash, they may incur serious cases of whiplash. Some people could also fracture a rib as the airbag deploys. Additionally, the force of the impact could cause a brain injury if someone’s head slams against the headrest.
Being involved in a wrong-way collision can leave families with both physical and emotional injuries. People may need to seek outside help in some situations.