Every year, there are wrong-way accidents on the interstate. These are incredibly dangerous. In fact, they’re one of the types of accidents that are most likely to be fatal. They happen at very high speeds – both cars could have a combined speed of around 150 miles an hour – and they are head-on collisions.
At the same time, though, these are accidents that should never occur. Most people have never accidentally gotten on the interstate and driven in the wrong direction. Even someone who may have pulled onto the bottom of an exit ramp, thinking it was an on-ramp, might have noticed their mistake immediately and pulled over to the shoulder. What would make someone get all the way onto the interstate, driving the wrong way until they collide with another vehicle?
Intoxication is usually the answer
As you may have suspected, the answer usually lies with the driver’s mental state and their level of impairment. Intoxicated drivers are more likely to cause fatal wrong-way accidents than anyone else.
One problem is that an impaired driver is more likely to make a mistake regarding which ramp they use or how they enter the highway. Additionally, because of their impairment, they are less likely to recognize this mistake, even when there are obvious signs. Some impaired drivers have even passed cars coming toward them, believing that they are on a two-way road. In other cases, drivers are so thoroughly intoxicated that they have essentially blacked out, and they are not processing any information at all.
Since these types of accidents are so dangerous, those who have been hit by wrong-way drivers may have extensive medical bills, lost wages, funeral costs and many other financial concerns. It’s important to understand all of the legal options after such a crash.