I received a call from Matt Campbell a reporter with the Kansas City Star about wrong-way collisions and my point of view. My point of view hasn’t changed with drunken drivers being the most prolific cause or wrong-way drivers on the interstate highways. We’ve had another one on I-380, but it wasn't a drunken driver. That one appears at first glance to be inexperience although I'll await the toxicology reports before making any firm conclusions. The one on I-80 last month in Polk County appeared to be intoxication along with the other guy watching a DVD. Go figure.
I've not seen signage as a cause in any great numbers. A few wrong-way events are due to signage, but very few accidents from signs causing the driver to become confused and causing them to drive the wrong way. If you're drunk those signs may be confusing, but it's not the sign that is the cause, it's the drunken stupor.
When I first started studying the accident reports I assumed signs were the largest causes. But it’s not so. Germany studied sign issues and found very limited situations where signs contributed to wrong-way interstate highway collisions. They refer to them as "ghost drivers". The main cause is drinking and driving. In Iowa we just had our third wrong-way interstate accident in the past three years. This one on I-380 was youthful mistake. The one a month ago was on I-80/I-35 and it was drunken driving. The one a few years ago was diabetic reaction.
I've read well over 1,000 news and accident reports for wrong-way’s and the number one cause remains drunken drivers.
What are the causes of wrong-way drivers, aka “ghost riders”?
1. Alcohol or drug related driver confusion.
2. Old age and confusion.
3. Mental defect or disease.
4. Purposeful acts including attempts to commit suicide and criminals attempting to elude law enforcement officers.
6. Signage confusion and road design. Broad medians can cause sight confusion with situational awareness.
7. GPS providing incorrect, inaccurate or confusing information.
Taking away the driver’s license isn’t working and frankly these people need their DL to work and earn a living. Why take the DL away and then force the government to feed their families. Instead we should take away their right to buy alcohol. Will that work, maybe, maybe not, but it’s worth a try.
Here are the latest news stories from around the world.
Drug, alcohol of blood of wrong-way driver
Drug, alcohol of blood of wrong-way driver. Tuesday - 12/4/2012, 2:03pm ET. BALTIMORE - Maryland Transportation Authority Police say an autopsy on a woman killed along with a 3-year-old in a wrong-way crash found a painkiller and alcohol in her blood.
Mariposa brothers survive I-80 crash that killed wrong-way driver
FERNLEY, Nev. -- Two brothers from Mariposa were involved in a multiple-vehicle crash over the weekend that killed a wrong-way driver east of Reno, the Nevada Highway Patrol reported.
UPDATED: Wrong-way driver only injury in Highway 44 wrecks
A wrong-way driver Tuesday night caused at least three crashes that snarled traffic on Highway 44 near downtown Redding.
Driver In Fatal Wrong-Way Crash Was Under The Influence Of Drugs & Alcohol
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Intoxicated on pain killers. Investigators make that determination about a driver who killed a little girl after going the wrong way on the beltway.
Police: Woman driving wrong way on 695 was under the influence
A toxicology report has come back on the driver police say drove the wrong way on 695 – an incident that resulted in the 21-year-old woman's death and the death of a 3-year-old riding in the SUV the woman's car hit head-on.
MdTA Police: Wrong Way Beltway Driver Had Been Drinking
MdTA Police: Wrong Way Beltway Driver Had Been Drinking. logo. Tuesday, December 04, 2012. Steve Fermier. The toxicology test results from the wrong waycrash on the Outer Loop of the Beltway last month are in.
Wrong-Way Driver Triggers Accident On 635
Wrong-Way Driver Triggers Accident On 635. DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Awrong-way driver on 635 LBJ triggered an early morning accident which sent eight to the hospital on Monday night.
Wrong-Way Driver Killed in Multi-Vehicle Crash on I-80 Near Fernley
FERNLEY, NV - A woman was killed Saturday just outside Fernley after hitting 4 cars head-on whiledriving the wrong-way on Interstate 80. Nevada Highway Patrol attempted to stop 41-year-old Tonya Babashoff when she was seen heading west.
Wrong-Way Driver on the Run After Crash on I-635
NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Police are searching for a wrong-way hit-and-run driver who put six people in the hospital early Monday morning. Dallas police officers were called to the scene of a crash near Welch Road and Interstate 635 at about 4:15 a.m.
Wrong way driver charged with DUI
De'Quan Allen Caldwell was arrested early Sunday morning after reportedly driving the wrong wayon I-20.
Wrong way driver killed in San Jose crash
San Jose Mercury News
SAN JOSE -- A driver headed the wrong way on San Tomas Expressway died Saturday after plowing into an oncoming car, police said. A 59-year-old San Jose man, whose name was not released, somehow ended up driving north on the southbound side.
Wrong-way driver stopped on Waukesha Co. freeway
Click on the Associated Videos link to see raw video of the scene from Chopper 4. BIG BEND - Waukesha Sheriff's deputies have gone to the scene where an elderly woman pulled over on the freeway after driving the wrong direction. The woman, who is 87.
Driver faces DUI charge in I-90 wrong-way crash
The wrong-way driver of a car that crashed head-on into a car in the westbound lanes Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (Interstate 90) in northwest suburban Rosemont early Sunday was arrested on a charge of DUI, Illinois State Police said.
Wrong-way driver injures 3 on Legacy Parkway
SALT LAKE CITY — A truck traveling the wrong way on Legacy Parkway in Davis County caused a head-on collision Thursday that critically injured three people, authorities said. The accident occurred about 3:30 a.m. when a white Ford Ranger was traveling.
Wrong-way driver causes crash on I-80 near Saltair
Fox 13 Now - Salt Lake City
SALTAIR — Police said a car driving into oncoming traffic on Interstate 80 triggered a four car crash, with vehicles swerving into oncoming traffic to avoid each other. At least one person was injured, the Utah Highway Patrol said Wednesday.
SAPD: Wrong-Way Driver Causes Rollover on IH-35
SAPD: Wrong-Way Driver Causes Rollover on IH-35. By: Fox S.A. Staff San Antonio Police believe a woman driving the wrong way on Interstate 35 caused a chain reaction of collisions that send one car rolling off the interstate onto the access road.
Wrong-way motorist charged in wake of 3-car crash on I-35
San Antonio Express
A wrecker driver prepares to flip over a car that rolled off... Police said a suspected wrong way driver caused a collision that sent this Chevrolet Impala rolling off Interstate 35 at Rittiman Road. Photo: Ana Ley/Express-News.
Senate panel hears bill on penalties for wrong-way drivers
COLUMBUS — A bill increasing penalties for drivers who go the wrong way on certain divided highways in Ohio can't guarantee crashes like the one in March that killed three Bowling Green State University sorority sisters won't happen again.
Bus/pickup collision kills wrong-way driver on I-10
A 78-year-old man driving the wrong way on Interstate 10 was killed Tuesday when his pickup truck collided with a charter bus, a Department of Public Safety spokesman said.
Driver going wrong way on I-81 in W.Va. killed
(AP) — Authorities say they may need dental records to identify a person who apparently drove thewrong way on Interstate 81 and slammed head-on into a tractor-trailer.
Driver killed in overnight I-81 crash was traveling wrong way
INWOOD - A driver was killed in an accident on Interstate 81 northbound near Exit 5 around 2:14 a.m. today. The accident involved a tractor trailer and a Ford Explorer, according to a press release issued by the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.
Authorities seek wrong-way driver - 32nd of year
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The Milwaukee County sheriff's office is investigating another wrong-way driving incident from early Saturday - the 32nd wrong-way driver on the Milwaukee freeway system this year.
Wrong-way crash kills driver on I-380
CEDAR RAPIDS — One car was going the wrong way on Interstate 380 at the time of a head-on collision that killed one driver and injured the other, Cedar Rapids police said. Police said the crash happened shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday.
Cedar Rapids police investigate wrong-way driver fatal accident on I-380
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa --- About 3:20 a.m. today, Cedar Rapids Police responded to an accident on Interstate 380 northbound just south of Wright Brothers Blvd SW.
Two wrong-way drivers in accidents on Jefferson Avenue
Peoria Journal Star
Two separate incidents involving drivers going the wrong way down Jefferson Avenue resulted in DUI arrests Saturday. Early Saturday morning, a marked police car was struck head-on by a vehicle driven by Dennis J. Pearson, 61, of 4921 N. Mansfield Drive.
Wrong-Way Motorway Death Driver Museka Jailed
San Francisco Luxury News
A drink-driver who caused the death of an aspiring model by driving the wrong way down a motorway has been jailed for eight years. Wilfred Museka was travelling at “motorway speed” when he was in a head-on collision that left 20-year-old Rebecca Caine.
Wrong-way driver slams into oncoming car
Hawaii News Now
HPD Traffic Division Lt. Bobby Towne said the man was driving a small older model pickup truck headed northbound on the H-2 Freeway toward Wahiawa, when the driver of a white Toyota SUV, going the wrong way.
Wrong way driver crashes on Highway 26 in Portland
Seattle Post Intelligencer
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police say there were no serious injuries when a wrong-way drivercrashed on Highway 26 early Thursday in Portland.
Wrong way driver
Milwaukee-- 21-year-old Joshua Klawikowski drove his car, the wrong way, for 15 miles on I-94. His blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. Klawikowski allegedly ignored the sirens and flashing lights of a squad car driving next to him.
Wrong way driver injures one in collision
HAYTI, MO (KFVS) -. An Illinois man was injured when the vehicle he was driving was struck by another vehicle traveling the wrong way.
UGA student arrested after driving the wrong way on a one-way street
Red and Black
A University student was arrested and charged with underage possession, DUI and one-way road violation after he was seen driving the wrong way on Carlton Street Sunday at 1:48 a.m., according to a University Police report.
Wrong-way driver crashes on Lake Shore Drive
A woman driving south in the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive crashed into another car near 55th Street this morning, officials said. The 28-year-old woman, driving a Buick LaCrosse, hit an Oldsmobile Ciera near 55th Street around 4:10 a.m.
Wrong way driver goes 23 miles on I-85
DULUTH, Ga. -- Police say a Duluth man accused of driving the wrong way on I-85 for at least 23 miles, was drunk. Gwinnett County Police arrested 36-year old David Collazo around 4 a.m. on Thursday morning and charged him with driving the wrong way.
UPDATED: Woman killed when wrong-way driver collides with 2 vehicles on 710 ...
Los Angeles Daily News
November 4, 2012 4:31 AM GMTUpdated: 11/03/2012 09:31:25 PM PDT. LONG BEACH - A 27-year-old Long Beach woman was killed Friday when the vehicle she was riding in was struck by awrong-way driver on the Long Beach (710) Freeway, police said.
Wrong way driver nailed for OWI 8
When he was stopped after driving the wrong way on a one-way street, Kory A. Shimmin said he was tired after working.
Wrong-Way Driver On 710 Kills One, Injures Three
Long Beach Post
A Buena Park man was in custody this weekend after he drove his car onto the wrong direction of the 710 freeway Friday night and collided with two vehicles, killing one passenger and injuring three others.
Wrong-Way Driver Killed in Crash in Oak Cliff
NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Dallas police say a wrong-way driver was killed in a head-on collision with a sport utility vehicle in Oak Cliff on Friday afternoon. Police said a 35-year-old man in a red Ford Focus was driving eastbound in the westbound lane of traffic in the 1900.
Highway 101 wrong-way driver crashes, arrested in Petaluma
Petaluma Argus Courier
Wrong-way driver Jural Somlee, 41, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving the wrong way and driving despite not having a license, reported the CHP. The other driver was identified as Mohsen Misif, 58, of Santa Rosa.
Wrongway Driver Arrested After Hitting Parked Cars
One man is in custody after he hit several cars driving the wrong way down a one-way street in Lincoln. Lincoln Police say just before 8 a.m. officers were called to the area between Washington and A Streets along northbound 10th Street.
Drunk driver pleads guilty in fatal, wrong-way crash on I-20
Dallas Morning News (blog)
A wrong-way driver pleaded guilty Tuesday to two alcohol-related felonies in connection with a highway crash that killed one person and injured another.
Wrong-way driver nabbed
Attleboro Sun Chronicle
EAST PROVIDENCE - A Seekonk man was arrested and charged with drunken driving Friday night after he nearly crashed into a Rhode Island state trooper while reportedly driving on the wrong side of the road.
Wrong-way driver sideswipes semi on Beltline
Wisconsin State Journal
A vehicle going the wrong way on the Beltline sideswiped a semi-trailer truck early Wednesday morning and forced other drivers to scramble before disappearing down the road, authorities reported.
Expressway Authority: New system could prevent wrong-way crashes
In the past, there have been deadly crashes caused by wrong-way drivers, including one on the 408 last August where a suicidal man killed one driver and injured another.
County, Sheriff's Department Settle with Family of Victim in Wrong-Way Crash
Santa Barbara County officials, as well as those from the Sheriff's Department, have agreed to pay a $4.8 million settlement to the family of a young man who was killed in a 2009 accident involving awrong-way driver.
Wrong way driver's night of madness
A devout Muslim who seriously injured a motorcyclist when driving the wrong waydown an Auckland motorway during a drunken "night of madness" has been sentenced to six months home detention and may face deportation.
Wrong-way driver forces I-65 closure
A motorist drove the wrong way on Interstate 65, forcing police to close the road. Kenneth S. Helton, 54, 1052 Mikes Way, Greenwood, was arrested on charges of criminal recklessness, reckless driving and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
$4.8 Million Settlement In Goleta Wrong Way Crash
The accident happened in the early morning hours of November 8, 2009. The wrong way driver identified as Richard Rodriguez had been taking illegal drugs and drinking alcohol before he got behind the wheel.
Wrong-way driver on Merritt causes accident
GREENWICH -- A wrong-way driver slammed head-on into a northbound car on the Merritt Parkway just south of Round Hill Road early Tuesday morning, totalling both cars and sending three passengers to the hospital, State Police said.
Motorists driving wrong way sent to prison
San Antonio Express
Jurors in neighboring courtrooms rejected probation requests Thursday from two admitted drunkendrivers who killed other motorists while going the wrong way on Bexar County highways.
2 NYPD officers injured pursuing wrong-way driver into Yonkers
The Journal News | LoHud.com
YONKERS — Two New York City police officers were injured after a pursuit early this morning of a suspected drunken driver that ended with the driver's arrest near Ashburton and Nepperhan avenues in Yonkers.
She's a MASCARY driver! Ohio beauty looks teary after wrong-way drunk driving ...
New York Daily News
... wrong-way chase near Streetsboro, Ohio early Saturday morning. Booze-hoo! A 24-year-old Ohio beauty was snapped in a mugshot with tear-smeared mascara running down her face after she was nabbed driving drunk on the wrong side of an interstate.
Preventing Wrong-Way Driving Gets a Tech Assist
The Milwaukee County, Wis., Sheriff's Office hopes to curb wrong-way driving with new LED warning signs and real-time notification alerts.
Ohio driver busted driving wrong way on highway
STREETSBORO, OH (WOIO) -. A 24-year-old woman was busted for driving the wrong way on I-480 while drunk. On Saturday, October 13 at 3:17 a.m., Streetsboro Police received a phone call reporting a vehicle traveling eastbound on I-480 in the westbound lanes.
8 Taken To Hospital After Weymouth Wrong-Way Crash « CBS Boston
Police say a mini-van carrying special needs adults crossed the double yellow lines around noon time and hit a Pontiac Grand Am sedan which drove up onto a sidewalk trying to avoid the wrong-way driver.
Wrong-way driver on Metropolitan killed in head-on collision
MONTREAL — A 39-year-old man alone in his car and going the wrong way along Highway 40 was killed early Monday in a head-on collision with a vehicle going in the proper direction.
Wrong-way driver strikes truck on I-640
Knoxville News Sentinel
KNOXVILLE - Lauren Elizabeth Steele, 22, of Racoon Valley Drive in Heiskell was arrested by officers of the Knoxville Police Department after an early-morning incident on I-640.
Wrong-Way Driver Arrested for 3rd OWI
The suspect was arrested for 2nd Degree Reckless Endangerment, Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence - 3rd offense, Driving Wrong Way on Divided Highway, Failure to Obey Officer's Signal and Reckless Driving.
Milwaukee County Sheriff's Dept. to unveil technology for curbing ...
MILWAUKEE- After dozens of wrong-way driving incidents, Milwaukee County has come up with a new plan to try to keep you safe, and they were set to announce the new plan on Tuesday.
Boise police arrest wrong-way driver on drug count
BOISE, Idaho -- Boise police say an eastern Washington driver was arrested on suspicion of felony drug possession and other charges after officers observed his vehicle traveling the wrong direction down a one-way street.
Wrong-way driver in Bangor had meth, knives and metal knuckles, police say
The Express Times - LehighValleyLive.com
A Bangor man who was pulled over in April for driving the wrong way on a one-way street had methamphetamine, metal knuckles and an illegal knife in his car, police say in court records.
E-470 to get new warning signs to combat wrong-way driving
New solar-powered flashing warning lights are going up on off-ramps on E-470 beginning this week to prevent people from driving down the highway in the wrong direction. The new wrong-way signs will be placed at eye level on poles.
Wash. trooper takes hit to stop wrong-way
SEATTLE — Police say a Washington State Patrol trooper took a hit from a wrong-way driver to stop him from careening down the road into other drivers.
Drivers die in two weekend crashes
A wrong-way driver was killed in a crash in Framingham late Saturday night, while another driver was killed in a North Andover crash early Sunday, according to authorities.
Suspected drunk driver with kids stopped driving wrong way in Port Moody
Police first received a report of a possible drunk driver travelling the wrong way in traffic near Rocky Point Park during the supper hour.
Lee's Summit teen, passengers injured in crash that kills wrong-way driver
Kansas City Star
Three women from Lee's Summit were seriously injured early Sunday when their car collided with awrong-way driver on U.S. 50 near Warrensburg, Mo. Authorities identified the driver killed in the crash as Brandon M. Morrow, 27, of Warrensburg.
Wrong way driver strikes WSP trooper in head-on crash
A man is in police custody at Harborview Medical Center on suspicion of drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident after authorities say he drove the wrong way on State Route 520 and caused a head-on collision with a Washington State Patrol officer.
Police: Wrong-way driver allegedly hit car, showed signs of 'extreme intoxication'
Napa Valley Register
Napa police arrested a 41-year-old American Canyon man on suspicion of felony drunken drivingafter he allegedly caused an injury collision Saturday evening, police said.
Woman accused of DWI, driving wrong way | WIVB.com
By Posted by: Emily Lenihan
Woman accused of DWI, driving wrong way. ... GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) - A wrong-way driver in a Grand Island traffic circle is accused of being drunk behind the wheel.