If you’re still recovering from the physical and emotional trauma of a car crash, you may be more than a bit nervous when you get behind the wheel again. This time of year, there’s a lot to look out for. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs are more prevalent. You also have tourists and people from out of town visiting family and friends who are unfamiliar with the area, as well delivery drivers rushing to deliver packages by the promised date and time in areas they might not know well.
Any of these scenarios can produce a wrong-way driver — although drunk drivers are responsible for most wrong-way crashes. While wrong-way crashes are relatively rare, they have a higher fatality rate (12% to 27% higher) than any other type of collision. Most (70%) occur at night — between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. The majority are on weekends.
Ways to avoid a wrong-way driver
You could encounter a wrong-way driver at any time, so it’s wise to know how you can improve your chances of becoming a wrong-way crash statistic. Let’s look at a few ways:
- Scan the road ahead at all times: This is something we all learn in driver’s ed, but many of us forget to do. It’s essential not to just to look ahead as far as you can see, but to look at the lanes around you.
- Stay in the right lane: This is especially important if you’re not on a divided highway. Over three-fourths of wrong-way crashes occur in the lane nearest the middle of the road because wrong-way drivers usually are in the left lane.
- Swerve to the right if a wrong-way driver is approaching: That means getting on the shoulder if you need to. It’s better not to take the time to brake if you only have seconds to get out of the way.
You should immediately report a wrong-way driver by calling 911 once you’re safe. You could likely be saving lives.
If you or a loved one is injured in a crash caused by a reckless or negligent driver, it’s essential to get the compensation you need. Don’t just accept the first offer you get from the insurance company. They don’t stay in business by paying the maximum value for every claim. An experienced attorney can review your case and work to get you the best possible settlement.