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Why do wrong-way accidents ever happen? 

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2023 | Drunk Driving Accidents

The last thing you ever expect to see when you’re driving down the interstate is a pair of headlights coming toward you. All traffic should be moving with you, and opposing traffic should be in its own lanes, separated by a median or a wall.

Unfortunately, though, this is exactly what some people see right before a car accident. They get hit by a  wrong-way driver who has somehow managed to enter the interstate going the wrong direction and caused a serious accident. In fact, these accidents are highly likely to be fatal because they happen at incredibly high speeds and they are difficult to avoid. 

But why do they even happen in the first place? The interstate has been specifically designed to prevent traffic from moving in opposite directions on the same road, so how is it that someone could’ve taken the wrong ramp or even pulled a U-turn and driven in the wrong direction?

Most cases involve impairment

As you may have guessed, the top reason for wrong-way accidents is alcohol impairment. Drivers drink too much, they are intoxicated, and they make mistakes that they wouldn’t make if they were sober. It seems almost impossible for a sober driver to imagine turning up an offramp and driving onto the wrong side of the interstate, but someone who is impaired may get confused or blackout entirely and not even realize what they’re doing.

As noted above, these cases are often very serious and even fatal. If you have been injured or lost a loved one, you need to know what legal steps to take next.