A car accident attorney in Orlando, FL explains the reasons why
Imagine driving at night down I-4 in Winter Park when out of nowhere, you're blinded by the headlights of another vehicle that's going the wrong way on the highway. Suddenly, you're involved in a devastating head-on collision, which is a violent type of car accident that often results in severe injury or death. This scenario is a legitimate fear for many drivers, and tragically, a recent study finds that crashes caused by wrong-way drivers are increasing.
According to a troubling report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 2,000 people died in wrong-way crashes on divided highways between 2015 and 2018. That's an average of about 500 people each year and represents a 34% spike in fatalities from such accidents when looking at crash data from 2010 to 2014.
“Wrong-way crashes on divided highways are often fatal as they are typically head-on collisions,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “And unfortunately, as the data shows, fatalities from these crashes are on the rise.”
Experts say older drivers and those who always travel alone are at risk of causing a wrong-way accident, but driving under the influence of alcohol is by far the biggest contributing factor to these types of avoidable crashes.
Drunk drivers are prone to going the wrong way
The numbers don't lie: in crashes involving wrong-way drivers, about 60% were caused by drunk drivers. And since going the wrong way puts you and others at risk of a deadly head-on collision, AAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are suggesting countermeasures and increased awareness about the problem to help keep drunk drivers off the road.
“Alcohol impairment is, by far, the single most significant factor in the majority of wrong-way driving crashes, which unfortunately has not changed since the NTSB issued its Wrong-Way Driving special investigation report in 2012,” said Dr. Rob Molloy, NTSB Director of the Office of Highway Safety. “The important work done by AAA shows that we need to redouble our efforts to address this safety hazard."
Action steps include high-visibility DUI enforcement operations, sobriety checkpoints, and the installation of alcohol ignition interlock devices, which require a driver to provide and pass a breath test before the car will start.
The data also shows that drivers 70 and older are at more risk of causing a wrong-way crash. To help combat that problem, experts say there should be more driver refresher courses, more visible signs and signals, improvements to infrastructure, and laws that help identify older drivers who may be physically or cognitively at risk of causing a crash.
We hold negligent drivers accountable
Every driver knows it isn't safe to get drunk and get behind the wheel of a car, yet far too many do it anyway. While driving under the influence of alcohol is against the law everywhere, recovering your losses after an accident caused by a drunk driver can be a lot tougher than you'd expect. And if you're not careful, you could end up missing out on the compensation you need and deserve.
At The Cerasa Law Firm LLC, attorney Michael Cerasa can guide you through the legal process and aggressively advocate for your best interests. If you were injured or a loved one died in a crash caused by a drunk driver or anyone else who was being reckless, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Orlando car accident lawyer. There is no upfront money required to hire us, and you pay no legal fees unless we make a financial recovery in your case (e.g., settlement or court verdict).