Drunk drivers the main cause of deadly wrong-way crashes

Connecticut is working to reduce wrong-way accidents, which one study says has killed 4,000 nationwide in ten years.

As the Hartford Courant recently reported, Connecticut is taking steps to reduce wrong-way accidents in the state, particularly along Route 8, by replacing current traffic signs with larger, more reflective ones. Wrong-way crashes, which have killed thousands of people nationwide, are almost always caused by intoxicated drivers and are much more likely to result in a fatality than other accident types. Although relatively rare, wrong-way crashes tend to produce some of the most horrific car crashes.

Better signage

In Connecticut, the state's Department of Transportation will begin replacing "Wrong Way," "One Way," and "Do Not Enter" signs along Route 8 with larger, more reflective signs. Route 8 has been the scene of a number of serious accidents involving wrong-way drivers in recent years, including three that have resulted in fatalities in the last decade. Officials say the more reflective signs should help in the fight against wrong-way accidents, most of which occur at night.

This particular type of danger, however, is not limited to Route 8. Across Connecticut in 2014, for example, police laid charges against 216 wrong-way drivers, the vast majority of whom luckily did not cause a fatal accident. But, as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) points, when a wrong-way driver does cause a crash, the chances of survival are much lower than in other types of accidents, with about one-in-five wrong-way crashes leading to a fatality.

Impaired driving

Police in Connecticut note that almost every wrong-way accident in the state has involved an impaired driver. That observation is also supported by an NTSB study that, according to NBC News, found that 80 percent of wrong-way accidents are linked to alcohol. Furthermore, over the past 10 years close to 4,000 people have been killed across the U.S. in wrong-way crashes.

Police note that seeing a wrong-way driver on a highway can be such an unusual sight that other drivers can be slow to react to the danger. Police recommend that drivers stay in the right lane if they see a car driving in the wrong direction. In many cases, the wrong-way driver is under the impression that he or she is on a two-way road and will stay in the left lane (which, to him or her, appears to be the right-hand lane).

Motor vehicle accidents

Driving while impaired is an irresponsible choice that risks the lives of countless people on the road. As the above article shows, drunk drivers are a serious threat and can cause incredible pain and suffering. Anybody who has been injured in an accident that may have been caused by a drunk or otherwise negligent driver should get in touch with a personal injury attorney. By talking to an attorney today, accident victims will gain a better understanding of what their options are and if, for example, they can pursue financial compensation from an at-fault driver.