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Drivers heading the incorrect direction on highways can cause severe accidents.

Dangers and Causes of Wrong-way Driving

Even without the flashing lights and abundant distractions on the Las Vegas strip, drivers in Nevada and other states can sometimes become confused about the road system. Wrong-way drivers pose a danger on divided highways as these motorists can cause serious accidents and vehicles on the highway typically travel at high speeds.

What Constitutes Wrong-way Driving

Data from groups like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration was used to analyze accidents that occurred when a vehicle was traveling in the direction opposite of the legal flow of traffic. The information focused on controlled-access highways like those with entrance and exit ramps rather than on incidents where vehicles crossed over medians.

Risks of Wrong-way Driving

While wrong-way driving is only responsible for around 3 percent of accidents on highways, these crashes are still important to focus on. This is because head-on collisions are the most dangerous kind of accidents, and wrong-way driving crashes are usually head on. Compared to other accidents, the fatality rate for wrong-way collisions may be as much as 27 times greater.

Why It Happens

The most common reason drivers start traveling in the wrong direction is because they enter the highway on an exit ramp. While properly and clearly marking entrances and exits is a helpful countermeasure, this may not always be enough for the groups that typically have a problem with wrong-way driving. At least half of motorists traveling in the wrong direction are intoxicated. Drivers over the age of 70 also have trouble with wrong-way driving as they are responsible for less than 3 percent of fatal accidents while driving in the correct direction but make up almost 15 percent of the wrong-way drivers in fatal wrecks.

Drivers acting negligently can be held responsible when they cause accidents that injure others, and this includes motorists who are alcohol impaired. Injury lawyers might be able to help you file a claim against a liable driver after a drunk driving crash for things like medical expenses and time off work.