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Investigation of wrong-way accidents

Posted on in Car Accidents

As California motorists know, driving the wrong way on a highway is responsible for serious accidents. The National Transportation Safety Board completed a study detailing accidents caused by motorists accessing on ramps and off ramps incorrectly. The study did not include drivers who cross over the center or those driving on two-lane roads, since the recommendations for those types of accidents would be different.

Although wrong-way drivers account for only a small percentage of accidents every year, those types of accidents frequently result in serious injuries and fatalities. Because wrong-way drivers have been a problem since the introduction of the Interstate Highway System, research into ways to prevent it have been recommended since the 1960s.

Recommendations by the NTSB in 1990, following a study of truck drivers involved in fatal accidents, included establishing a standardized method for specimen collection. It also called for legislation requiring alcohol and drug testing of drivers who were involved in truck accidents that resulted in fatalities.

The newest study involves recommendations for techniques to avoid wrong-way driving and explored six accidents that took place in 2011. It focused on the primary cause of wrong-way driving, alcohol and drugs, and a secondary cause, medical conditions. The investigation showed that most wrong-way crashes occurred with motorists driving at highway speeds and caused a head-on collision in 82 percent of the crashes.

When people are involved in a head-on collision, the risk of fatalities heightens. When someone is killed due to the negligence of another driver, the decedent's family suffers both emotional and financial loss. The family may face funeral and burial costs, lost income the decedent provided as well as end-of-life medical expenses. It may be advisable for the survivors to speak with an attorney about the possibility of filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.

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