Wrong-way accidents occur when a vehicle crosses into the opposite lane and veers into oncoming traffic, colliding with a vehicle traveling in the other direction. Last year, at least 421 crashes in Michigan occurred as a result of someone driving the wrong way on a divided road. Nationally, fatalities resulting from wrong-way accidents have been on the rise. As AAA reports, wrong-way accidents often result in head-on collisions, which can be especially dangerous for drivers and passengers.
A recent news article detailed a wrong-way accident that left three people dead in Iron Mountain, Michigan. A car was traveling in the northbound lane of a local roadway when it suddenly crossed into the southbound lane and struck another car. The other driver tried to brake, but he sadly could not avoid the collision. Both drivers died at the scene, along with one passenger. The other passengers, a woman and two children, were transported to the hospital for their injuries. One of the children was in critical condition. Police are continuing to investigate the crash, but they believe speed was a contributing factor.
What Are the Most Common Causes of a Wrong-Way Accident?
Many different factors can lead to a wrong-way accident. First, drivers may be distracted. They may be talking on the phone or texting while driving, both of which result in drivers paying too little attention to the road in front of them. Second, a driver who is speeding might veer into the opposite lane at a high speed. In this scenario, even if a driver sees another car approaching from the opposite direction, they may not have time to swerve out of the way before a head-on collision occurs. Excessive speeding can cause a driver to lose control of the car more easily, leading to a deadly wrong-way crash. Finally, drivers may travel into the wrong lane if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to the AAA, driving under the influence increases a person’s odds of being a wrong-way driver. Driving under the influence means an intoxicated driver becomes a danger to everyone else on the road.