According to research from the National Transportation Safety Board and AAA, approximately 500 deaths occur every year due to wrong-way drivers. These types of crashes are common in the state of Georgia. In fact, the state ranks #5 in the number of deaths due to wrong-way drivers.
If you or a loved one is involved in a wrong-way crash, it’s important that the at-fault party be held liable. Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys can handle your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Wrong-Way Accidents Defined
Wrong-way accidents occur when a vehicle is traveling in the direction opposite the legal flow of traffic. This definition is used to describe accidents that occur on controlled-access highways and ramps. However, this does not include crashes that result from median crossovers. These crashes are often high-speed and may be head-on or an opposite-direction sideswipe.
Common Reasons for Wrong-Way Crashes
There are several common reasons that a driver may end up driving the wrong direction on the highway, including:
Driving while under the influence
Driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is dangerous and is considered negligent driving. Reaction times are slower, and judgment is impaired. In addition, a driver who is under the influence may become confused and miss road signs and end up driving the wrong direction.
Driving while distracted
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting while driving results in nearly 3,000 deaths in the United States every year. If a driver is texting, scrolling through social media, or otherwise using their phone while driving, their focus is not on the road. Therefore, they may not realize that they missed road signs, or failed to take action to ensure their safety as well as the safety of others.
In addition to using their phone while driving, there are other things that can cause a driver to be distracted, including:
- Changing the radio station
- Looking at a GPS map
Driving while drowsy
Many nighttime wrong-way collisions occur because a driver is tired. The effects of driving while drowsy are similar to those of driving under the influence: reduced response times and impaired judgment. If a driver falls asleep, they can easily cross the median and end up driving the wrong way.
In some cases, wrong-way crashes are caused by a driver who is suffering from a cognitive impairment such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. According to the NTSB, approximately 15% of wrong-way accidents involve drivers over the age of 70, who are much more likely to suffer from these impairments.
Confusing signage/ineffective traffic control devices
In some cases, drivers end up driving the wrong way due to confusing or missing signage or traffic control devices. This includes a lack of proper lighting and signage indicating the proper direction. These accidents typically occur when a driver is entering the highway from an exit ramp.
Unfamiliarity with the area
Sometimes, a driver ends up driving the wrong way because they are not familiar with the area. This is especially common in areas where there are a lot of one-way streets. If the driver is not familiar with the area, missing or blocked signage can lead to a wrong-way crash.
When the roads are slippery due to rain or frozen precipitation, a vehicle is more likely to veer into oncoming traffic, causing a wrong-way crash.
What Injuries are Common in Wrong-Way Accidents?
The most common injuries that occur in wrong-way accidents include:
- TBI (traumatic brain injury)
- Neck injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Severe injuries to internal organs
- Broken bones
If you or a loved one suffered any of the above injuries, you have the legal right to pursue compensation.
When you file a lawsuit, it’s not uncommon for the insurance company to reach out with an offer. It’s important to have an attorney on your side that can protect your rights as a victim.
What Compensation Can You Seek?
Victims of wrong-way accidents may be able to receive compensation for some, if not all, of the following:
- Present/future medical bills
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium/companionship
- Inability to enjoy daily activities
- Property damage/damage to vehicle
- Wrongful death damages
- Reimbursement for funeral expenses
Contact a Wrong-Way Accident Attorney in Georgia
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a wrong-way accident in Georgia, let The Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys take your case.
Brady M. Larrison understands that it can be difficult to move forward after being harmed by another’s wrongdoing. He has the experience and expertise to get the compensation you deserve, for your financial, physical, and emotional losses. He has been practicing as a plaintiff’s attorney in Athens, Loganville, Monroe, and the surrounding areas for more than a decade.
Contact our office today for your free case evaluation!