As a driver, one of your worst nightmares is seeing a vehicle going in the wrong direction — and headed straight for your car. Often, there is nowhere to go to avoid a crash, especially on busy divided highways. In February 2021, a 24-year-old Alabama woman lost her life because of a driver traveling in the wrong direction.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), 2,008 people died in wrong-way car accidents from 2015 through 2018 on divided roadways. That figure puts the national average at about 500 wrong-way crash deaths per year.
How can you avoid wrong-way accidents?
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to avoid these accidents because there is nowhere to go. However, staying alert and keeping a sharp eye on traffic patterns in your vicinity can allow you to spot trouble in time to get out of the way. If you see a wrong-way driver heading in your direction, the tips below may help you avoid the other vehicle.
- Safely slow your vehicle right away
- Honk your horn repeatedly
- When dark, flash your headlights at the driver
- Steer your car to the other side of the road if possible
- Pull safely onto the shoulder of the road
- Act quickly and without hesitation
Head-on wrong-way car accidents are common and often fatal. AAA reports that the fatality rate in such crashes has risen by 34% in recent years. Those who do survive must typically face severe or catastrophic injuries. In all cases, bereaved families and crash survivors deserve financial compensation for the harm they have suffered. A personal injury lawyer often fills a valuable role of advocacy for these victims and can increase their chances of acquiring such compensation.