If you look at each individual case, you can find many different reasons for wrong-way accidents. Sometimes, an elderly driver gets confused and gets on the highway going the wrong way. Other drivers claim not to have seen the warning signs. In some cases, darkness or poor weather conditions could play a role. Some drivers may get confused about what they’re supposed to do when the lanes shift in a construction zone. Still others may get on a one-way road going the wrong way because they’re confused about what the GPS is telling them to do.
However, when you track out the statistics, you can definitely find patterns and reasons that show up more consistently than others. When you look at it that way, you find that nothing causes these accidents more than driver impairment.
Impairment can come in many forms. It usually refers to drunk driving. However, drivers could also be impaired by the use of illegal drugs or even legal prescription medications. Anything that reduces their cognitive and possibly physical ability to drive a car can make it harder for them to understand that they’re going the wrong way until they are involved in a collision.
While these accidents are not common compared to other types of accidents, they are often deadly. They happen at very high speeds. The drivers who are going the proper direction may have little to no warning and do not anticipate that type of hazard until the crash. That limits their ability to evade it.
If you get injured in a crash involving an impaired driver, you need to know what rights you have to compensation.