Wrong-way Accidents Soon to be Updated
Posted on Apr 26, 2010
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.
- 5. Inexperience.
- 6. Signage confusion and road design. Broad medians can cause sight confusion with situational awareness.
- 7. GPS providing incorrect, inaccurate or confusing information.
What should you do if you see a wrong-way driver?
- 1. Get to the shoulder and stop.
- 2. If you can't get to the shoulder, slow down and attempt to safely stop your vehicle.
- 3. Sound your horn.
- 4. Put on your lights.
- 5. Call 9-1-1.
- 6. Before getting in the car wear your seat belts.
- 7. Drive in the right hand lane of travel on the Interstate.
- 8. When passing or coming to the crest of a hill look ahead for a wrong-way driver making sure the lane is clear.
- 9. Assume when in the left hand lane of a divided highway that you may come upon a wrong-way driver.
- 10. When driving on a divided highway stay vigilant and pay attention to what is ahead of you. Avoid allowing distractions to take your attention off the road ahead.
How can drivers avoid wrong-way driving?
- 1. Don't drive drunk. Use a designated driver or call a cab.
- 2. When coming to a divided highway come to a complete stop, look at and read the signs, making sure you know which way to go.
- 3. Don't allow vehicles to the rear to rush you.
- 4. Stay off the telephone when driving.
- 5. Don't allow distractions to interfere with being vigilant about your driving.
- 6. If you're a young driver, don't drive when the other passengers are a distraction.
- 7. If you're an elderly driver, get evaluated once a year to see if your senses and skill level allow you to safely drive. Don't be so stubborn about giving up your driver's license that you ignore the signs of perception difficulties. Invest in and use a GPS.
What else needs to happen to reduce wrong-way collisions?
- 1. States could identify the locations of repeated wrong-way entry points. Those points could be redesigned including tire puncture equipment such as we see in use at most parking ramps.
- 2. The Court's must get very tough on drunk drivers and those who cause collisions from being on cell phones (talking or texting); more than they already have been.
- 3. The DOT should begin an education campaign for drivers to recognize and avoid wrong-way drivers.
- 4. The DOT should begin an education campaign to instruct drivers what to do when a wrong-way driver approaches.
- 5. States should further study wrong-way avoidance road and sign designs.
- 6. State DOT's should consider a different middle line design with hash marks bent in the direction of travel and against the opposing direction.
- 7. Juries in civil actions need to send a clear message to offenders with large punitive damage awards.
- 8. The DOT needs to evaluate older drivers annually for visual and mental awareness; taking away driving privileges where there is risk.
- 9. Lawyers need to plead punitive damages in wrong-way collisions.
- 10. Victims need to be educated on what to do when they are involved in a wrong-way collision.
- 11. Witnesses of wrong-way collisions need to get involved with identifying themselves to police officers investigating a wrong-way collision. Those witnesses may have very valuable information to helping identify the entry points, causes and preventive measures.
- 12. DOT accident forms need to be amended to allow the collection of information to identify characteristics associated with causing wrong-way entry points, times when wrong-way collisions are most likely to occur and driver characteristics of those likely to drive the wrong-way. Children and friends of older drivers need to get involved with identifying those likely wrong-way drivers.
- 13. States should consider a radio system that would allow public service interruptions, like what is done on television when a weather emergency is eminent. It wouldn't be perfect (not all radios are on) but something is perhaps better than nothing.
- 14. Empower bars to take the keys away from drunks.
For more information about wrong-way collisions read our previous posts:
www.lombardilaw.com/.../wrongway-collisions-on-iowas-interstate-and-state-highways.cfm - Cached
www.lombardilaw.com/.../driver-safety-wrongside-accident-roundup-including-iowa.cfm - Cached - Similar
www.lombardilaw.com/blog/ - Cached - Similar
www.lombardilaw.com/.../wrongway-drivers-on-iowas-i80-i235-and-i35-what-can-you-do.cfm - Cached
www.lombardilaw.com/.../an-updated-list-of-the-most-recent-wrongway-collisions-on-the-interstate-highways.cfm - Cached
www.lombardilaw.com/.../iowa-news-wrongway-driving-on-the-interstate-highway-system.cfm - Cached
www.lombardilaw.com/blog/wrongway-drivers-collide-in-texas.cfm - Cached
www.lombardilaw.com/.../live-tomorrow-on-ridin-dirty-radio-from-los-angeles-wrongway-interstate-drivers-20090818.cfm - Cached
www.lombardilaw.com/blog/?catid=1702 - Cached
www.lombardilaw.com/.../tractortrailer-accident-iowa-i80-i35-i235-i370.cfm - Cached