Wrong-way driving accidents can cause devastating injuries. Because these accidents often occur head-on at high rates of speed, they have the potential to cause far more serious injuries than other types of accidents.
Many state transportation authorities have begun to implement technologies specific to wrong way drivers. According to Government Technology, highway officials in Arizona, California, Florida, Rhode Island and Texas have all implemented wrong-way driving countermeasures.
These pilot projects are often started in a limited basis at identified "hot spots" for wrong-way drivers. The systems rely on digital message boards to warn motorists of a wrong-way driver in the area. In this way, law enforcement can more effectively target and neutralize wrong-way drivers before an accident occurs.
While effective wrong-way driving countermeasures are important, it is also important for drivers to understand their legal duty of care. All drivers must operate their vehicles as the reasonably prudent driver would. In most cases, wrong-way driving is a violation of this duty and can make a negligent driver liable for all injuries and financial losses caused as the result of an accident.
Wrong-Way Driving Accidents in Oklahoma City
Here in Oklahoma City, real families suffer devastating losses that are caused by wrong-way drivers. Fox 25 News reports that a young driver, just 27 years old, was killed after he drove the wrong way on the Interstate 44. He struck another vehicle head-on. The driver and passenger in the other vehicle were transported to a local hospital in fair condition. The wrong-way driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
On the Broadway Extension of the Interstate 235, a wrong-way driver left the scene of an accident which seriously injured another driver. KOCO News 5 reports that Oklahoma Highway Patrol investigators were able to identify the name and vehicle of the wrong-way driver who caused the accident. They had to ask the public for assistance locating the driver and determining his whereabouts during the time of the accident. The victim could be left with limited access to compensation in the event that the Highway Patrol is unable to locate the wrong-way driver and establish that he committed the offense.
In Tulsa, an elderly driver was taken to a hospital in serious condition after driving the wrong way on State Route 11. The 90-year-old man had been spotted traveling east in westbound lanes. According to Tulsa World, many drivers called 911 to report the wrong-way driver, but police were unable to catch up to him before he caused a collision. The other driver was also taken to the hospital with injuries which were reported to be non-life-threatening.
There are many causes of wrong-way driving. Some wrong-way drivers are impaired by drugs or alcohol. Others are simply elderly, inexperienced, or confused while driving in an unfamiliar location. Regardless of the reason, wrong-way drivers endanger all nearby road users.
An Oklahoma City car accident attorney can help injury victims protect their legal right to be compensated after an accident, thereby holding wrong-way drivers accountable and deterring this dangerous driving behavior in the future.