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Wrong-way Accidents in Georgia

What are the causes of wrong-way crashes?

A deadly pileup recently occurring on a Georgia highway highlights the potentially severe consequences of wrong-way accidents.  In Franklin County, Georgia, a Ford Excursion traveling north on I-85 suddenly entered into the southbound lanes. The SUV struck a van traveling southbound, which then caused the van to strike another vehicle.  Two more accidents occurred as a result. Sadly, seven people in total were killed in the wrong-way pileup. Three children were additionally injured. In light of this serious crash, our Marietta, Georgia car accident lawyers discuss some facts and statistics surrounding wrong-way accidents.

Wrong-way Accident Statistics

Each year, approximately 355 people are killed in accidents caused by drivers heading the wrong way on the highway, as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Wrong-way driving is a significant national problem. Given the often high speeds involved, when a vehicle crosses into the wrong lane and hits another, the result is often death or serious injuries to the drivers and passengers in both vehicles.

Wrong-way driving is not legal and both individual states, as well as the federal government, have taken steps to attempt to prevent drivers from going in the wrong direction. States often employ signs on highways and on or off-ramps that notify drivers that are traveling in the wrong direction. Some areas even have radar triggered alerts that go off when a wrong-way driver is detected. Despite these measures, wrong-way crashes persist.

Causes of Wrong-way Accidents 

There are several scenarios that most often give rise to wrong-way accidents. Most wrong-way accidents can be attributed to human error. The most common causes of wrong-way crashes include:

  1. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: Drunk drivers can become disoriented and may at times enter the roadway going the wrong way. Intoxicated drivers are likely to be traveling at a high rate of speed and may have impaired reaction times, further increasing the odds of a serious crash.
  2. Distracted driving: Drivers who are looking down at their phones or otherwise not paying attention to the road ahead may enter an on or off-ramp in the wrong direction or swerve into the other lane. With rates of distracted driving increasing, this could lead to more wrong-way crashes.
  3. Drowsy drivers: Like intoxicated drivers, drowsy drivers may not be fully aware of their surroundings. They may drift off and swerve into the other lane or enter the highway going the wrong direction.

In any of the above scenarios, the driver who caused the wrong-way collision would be liable for your damages. Given the severity of wrong-way accidents, it is important that any accident victim consults with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the incident. 

Posted in: Automobile Wrecks