wrong way accidents in Pittsburgh

Wrong-Way Accidents Increasing

Why are wrong way crashes so much more dangerous than other types of accidents? Speed is a big factor. When one party is driving the correct way and not anticipating any obstacles, they have time to react to a wrong-way driver and try to slow down or get out of the way.

The same isn’t always true for the wrong-way drivers, though. They believe that they are driving the correct way, so their speed is probably similar to the other drivers. They may not realize they are going in the wrong direction until it is too late to change course, and those under the influence may never actually realize that they are on the wrong side of the road. When you have two people driving at relatively high speeds toward each other, enormous damage is likely to follow.

What is Causing These Crashes?

Across the country, wrong-way crashes are becoming more common. This is obviously not an isolated issue caused by a few poorly designed roads or unsafe areas. It’s a widespread problem affecting every state.

One issue is driver impairment. Drivers impaired by drugs and alcohol are extremely dangerous to themselves and others on the road, and they are at the greatest risk of causing a wrong-way accident. A significantly impaired driver is unlikely to notice that they’re turning into the wrong lane or getting on the off-ramp instead of the on-ramp. Furthermore, they are even less likely to realize their mistake in time to correct it.

Another concern is elderly drivers. While elderly drivers make up a far smaller share of wrong-way accidents than impaired drivers, they do still pose a safety concern. An aging driver who becomes confused turned around, or unsure of their surroundings can easily head down a one-way road or get into the wrong lane.

Clear signage may be another issue in some parts of the country. One-way streets are supposed to be clearly identified in multiple ways, ensuring that drivers unfamiliar with the area can avoid a dangerous situation. On-ramps and off-ramps that have any chance of causing confusion should also be marked.

How to Prevent Wrong-Way Crashes

Education and identification of risk factors can make roads safer. Some states require elderly drivers to test more frequently to keep their driver’s license, which gets them off the road at the first sign of trouble. Tough laws against drunk driving may also help keep roads safer by discouraging people from driving while impaired.

Take the Right Steps to Protect Yourself After a Collision

If you get hurt in a wrong-way crash in Pittsburgh, PA, you need to reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be able to recoup your financial losses from the negligent driver. However, this all depends on your evidence. Some types of evidence, such as the crash scene itself and reliable eyewitness retellings, become less helpful as time goes on. Reaching out to an attorney promptly gives you the chance to pursue a claim.

Explore Your Legal Options with Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman

The team at Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman is ready to help you through this stressful time. Set up a consultation with us now by calling 966-565-4949 or contacting us online.