When you’re out on the highway at night, one of the most stomach-churning sights you can see is another car’s headlights coming your way, in your lane. It means that there’s a driver on the road who is going the wrong way, and he or she may not even realize the danger that they’re in — let alone the danger they’re putting everyone else in.
Wrong-way drivers are sometimes just confused. An experienced teen can end up going the wrong way after taking the wrong ramp onto the highway. An older driver who is having trouble seeing at night may miss a turn or a sign and end up going against traffic. However, officials say that many wrong-way drivers are suffering from confusion simply because they’re inebriated. They say that there are known “hot spots” for wrong-way drivers around bars and restaurants, particularly close to closing time. In at least one state, the average blood alcohol content among wrong-way drivers has been calculated at .18% — more than twice the legal limit of .08%.
Wrong-way car wrecks are typically among the most serious. They often prove fatal to one or more of the people involved. That’s simply because head-on collisions at high speeds can be particularly devastating.
If you see a wrong-way driver heading your way, you should take the following steps:
- Flash your lights to try to alert the other driver that they’re driving into traffic.
- Pull your vehicle over as far to the right as possible and stop.
- Call 911 from your phone (if you have one) and alert the police.
Do not attempt to chase down a wrong-way driver on your own. It’s a situation best left to the authorities.
If you are involved in a wrong-way crash, you may suffer catastrophic and debilitating injuries. An attorney can help protect your right to fair compensation for your losses.