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Why do wrong way crashes occur?

Motorists in West Virginia travel to and from their destinations everyday with little to no issues. While drivers are aware of different methods and mechanisms to increase the person's safety while traveling on the roadways, these measures unfortunately do not prevent a negligent or reckless driver from colliding with the driver. When a driver is inattentive, reckless or intoxicated, it is possible to enter the road in the wrong direction. Such a condition is not only dangerous but could also lead to a serious or even fatal head-on collision.

Why do wrong way crashes occur? The most common reason a driver enters the road in the opposite direction is by entering an exit ramp. Drivers also travel in the wrong direction when they make a U-turn on the mainline of the highway or when they use the emergency turnaround through the median.

According to recent statistics, 78 percent of all fatal wrong way collisions occur between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. The occurrence of these types of crashes during the evening and late night hours could be related to driver fatigue and drunk driving. It was also determines that 57 percent of wrong way collisions occur on the weekends, with the most occurring on Sundays. It was also determined that in roughly 60 percent of wrong way crashes alcohol was involved.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board investigative report, most wrong way collisions happen in the lane closest to the median. It was also discovered in this investigative report that in about 15 percent of the wrong way crashes investigated, drivers over the age of 70 were the wrong way driver.

When you are involved in a wrong way crash, this is not only a shocking event but also one that will likely result in physical, mental and emotional pain. A wrong way accident is a serious crash that could cause a victim to suffer tremendously. An injured victim does have recourses available to them in these matters and could file a personal injury claim against a negligent driver, helping them recover losses and damages arising from the incident.

Source:, "Wrong-Way Crash Statistics," accessed August 21, 2016

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