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The severity of wrong-way crashes

Operating a motor vehicle is a common activity by most California residents. However, this activity is a privilege. It is a privilege that requires individuals to follow the rules of the road. This standard helps ensure safety on the roadways. Unfortunately, some motorists do not comply with this, resulting in serious and life-threatening collisions to occur.

Inattentiveness and negligence is often the culprit of accidents, especially when a driver is traveling in the wrong direction. Wrong-way collisions are one of the most serious types of automobile crashes, claiming lives each year. These crashes occur when a vehicle is traveling in a lane in a direction opposing the legal flow of traffic. This is likely to occur on high-speed divided highways or access ramps for these roadways.

According to current statistics, wrong-way crashes are not very common, only occurring in roughly three percent of the crashes happening on high-speed divided highways. However, the major concern with these types of crashes is the severity. A head-on crash is much more likely to result in fatalities and serious injuries when compared to other types of crashes.

Research indicates that a substantial amount of wrong-way crashes happen because a driver is impaired by alcohol. This can cause a motorist to enter an exit ramp, resulting in the driver traveling in the wrong direction. Additionally, this could be the cause of a driver crossing the median and continuing to travel in the wrong direction.

Following a wrong-way crash, victims are likely to suffer tremendously. Thus, it is important that victims and their loved ones are aware of their rights and options. This includes seeking legal recourses for losses and damages stemming from the incident.

Source:, "Highway Special Investigation Report: Wrong-Way Driving," accessed March 4, 2018

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