It’s terrifying to be in a situation on the roadway and see a driver coming at you in either the wrong lane or driving in the wrong direction. Wrong-way accidents are a common occurrence and a large contributor to accidents every year. These types of accidents typically cause catastrophic injuries as the head-on collisions have a much stronger impact on all drivers and passengers. These wrong-way accidents often lead to serious injuries, and even death. Knowing how to attempt to protect yourself from a wrong-way accident can prove important for your safety, and your life.

Common Causes 

Wrong-way driving is when a driver is on a roadway driving in the direct opposite of the division of traffic flow. Some of the main reasons that wrong-way accidents occur include the following:

  • Distracted driving. The most common instance of distracted driving today includes cell phone usage and talking and texting while driving. While this is the most common type of distracted driving, there are many ways a driver can become distracted while driving and cause a wrong-way accident.
  • Driving while drowsy. Every person gets tired, but if someone is so tired that they either fall asleep at the wheel or cross the line of traffic, this can cause a serious accident. Drowsy driving is serious and causes more than 6,400 deaths annually.
  • Elderly drivers. Many elderly drivers have poor eyesight or slower motor skills that prevent accurate driving. Some elderly drivers have medical conditions that can affect their driving as well. Always visit with your elderly loved one and make sure that they have the ability of both sight and cognitive function to safely drive a vehicle.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Any impairment due to alcohol or drug use can result in wrong-way driving, and serious accidents.
  • There is an emergency. Oftentimes, a driver may be having a stroke, seizure, or heart attack while on the road. If a driver passes out at the wheel of a car, they would lose control of the vehicle leading to wrong-way accidents.

Protecting Yourself

While not every accident is avoidable, these are some of the best ways to try to protect yourself against wrong-way accidents.

  • Use additional caution at night and on the weekends
  • Always wear your seat belt
  • Always use a blinker
  • Stay aware
  • Slow down
  • Get off the road or highway, if you see a wrong-way driver coming towards you
  • Move into the far right lane, or the slow lane if you see a wrong-way driving coming towards you
  • If possible, call 911

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today

If you, or a loved one were injured in a wrong-way accident, you may have the right to compensation for your injuries. Drivers are liable if they drive negligently, recklessly or carelessly. Contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at the O’Donnell Law Offices serving clients in Kingston, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton and Pittston to help you understand your right to compensation for your injuries. Contact us today at 570-821-5717 or online for a free consultation regarding your case.


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