Wrong Way Accidents in Georgia

Traffic accidents come in a variety of types. Head-on collisions that occur due to drivers that are headed the wrong way, however, may be the most frightening. Motor vehicle drivers frequently have a difficult time processing that a vehicle is nearby and headed directly towards the vehicle. Due to this great confusion that results from wrong way accidents, individuals are often left uncertain about how to proceed. The Federal Highway Administration reports that several hundred people are killed each year in accidents involving drivers that were headed in the wrong direction. All motor vehicle drivers should understand some of the applicable law about how wrong way accidents in Georgia occur.

Common Causes of Wrong Way Accidents

Some of the most common causes of wrong way accidents include the following:

  • Elderly Drivers. Some elderly drivers have particularly poor eyesight which can cause the drivers to misread road signs or even enter ramps in the wrong direction.

  • Driving Under the Influence. Drivers who operate motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs are known to cause drunk driving accidents.

  • Drowsy Drivers. When drivers are exhausted or extremely tired, there is a risk that the driver will fail to notice directional signs. In other situations, drivers might even fall asleep at the wheel only wake up driving the wrong way.

  • Medical Emergencies. Drivers sometimes experience various medical emergencies including heart attacks or strokes while driving. These medical conditions can cause motor vehicle drivers to operate a motor vehicle in an erratic manner or sometimes even temporarily pass out at the wheel causing the driver to end up driving the wrong-way.

  • Missing or Improperly Placed Signs. Signs can be obscured by heavy foliage or poor lighting and as a result, drivers can end up traveling on the wrong side of the road.

  • Missing a Turn or Exit. After missing a turn or exit, the driver attempts to travel the wrong way in order to save travel time.

  • Road Construction. When road construction occurs, this type of construction can alter the normal traffic flow and cause individuals that are not familiar with the road to cause wrong way accidents.

  • Unfamiliar Drivers. The driver does not understand applicable traffic regulations.

Situations Where Wrong Way Accidents Occur

The most common type of location where wrong way accidents occur are freeway exit ramps. A large number of wrong way collisions tend to occur in cities. Wrong way crashes are most likely to occur during the early morning.

Common Injuries Resulting from Wrong Way Accidents

Wrong way collisions often involve the front of vehicle colliding with the front end of another vehicle. Because the contact is direct and vehicles are frequently traveling at high speeds, wrong way accidents have the great potential to cause serious injuries. Some of the other injuries experienced by individuals involved in wrong way accidents include whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and chest injury.

Advice to Avoid Wrong Way Accidents

Individuals should follow several essential pieces of advice to avoid wrong way accidents:

  • Alert Other Drivers. Flash a vehicle’s high beams, honk the vehicle’s or take whatever step is necessary so that other drivers can be alerted about a motorist who is headed in the wrong direction.

  • Be Aware of Road Conditions. Many motor vehicle operators look only a few cars ahead and ignore anything that is happening beyond the driver’s immediate view. Motor vehicle drivers, however, should try to look further up the road than possible. Take control of your vehicle’s speed, distance, and time because the more time that a driver has to react to accident, the better the outcome of that event is likely to be.

  • Contact Law Enforcement. Motorists should make sure to pull over to the side of the road and make sure that the vehicle is safely away from harm prior to contacting emergency services.

  • Stay to the Right of the Road. Motor vehicle drivers who travel in the lane that is the farthest away from traffic will greatly decrease the chances of an automobile accident occurring. Not to mention, motorists who travel on the wrong side of the highway are likely to stay on the far right because the intoxicated motorists falsely believe that they are in the slow lane. Staying on the right will also increase the chances that the other driver will impact a vehicle’s side rather than head on which can greatly decrease the chances of a deadly collision occurring.

  • Remove Distractions. There are many types of distractions that motor vehicle operators encounter including texting and talking on cellular phones. Programming a GPS, using food and drinks, and even passengers can all be distractions.

  • Respond Quickly If a Vehicle Is Spotted Headed in the Wrong Direction. If drivers are aware of the road conditions ahead of them, drivers can quickly spot if a vehicle is headed in the wrong direction and a collision is imminent.

  • Use Headlights. Headlights and signal lights can help motor vehicle drivers spot others on the road and can make motorists visible to others on the road. Wrong way accidents have been known to occur particularly in bad weather and at night.

Steps to Reduce Wrong Way Accidents

There have been various methods proposed to reduce the number of wrong way accidents that occur. Some of these methods include: more clearly marked one-way streets, installing signage on longer entry/exit ramps, changing levels of signage to under seven feet, adding reflective tape to signage, modifying pavement markings at crossroads, concrete barriers that prevent drivers from entering roads from the wrong direction, removing heavy vegetation that obscures views of interchanges, wrong way pavement arrows, installing rapid pavement markets, and creating a wrong way automated detection system that uses sensors to alert authorities.

Contact a Skilled Georgia Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one is injured in a wrong way accidents, a skilled car accident attorney at The Angell Law Firm LLC can help. Our legal team has significant experience handling wrong way cases and is willing to fight tirelessly so that you deserve the compensation you deserve.