We’ve all been driving down the freeway when we see the shocking site of a totaled automobile facing the wrong way. Often, the driver has somehow managed to drive the wrong way down the highway, ending his drive by crashing into another vehicle, a pole, or other large object. Wrong way auto accidents occur when a vehicle enters the travel lane of oncoming traffic, typically resulting in a head-on or offset front end collision. With the two automobiles heading toward each another, and the combined approach speed of the vehicles, there is usually little or no time for the drivers to react in time to brake or avoid the collision.
While not as common as fender benders and drunk driving accidents, wrong way accidents are far and away the type of highway crash most likely to cause serious injury and death. In fact, the California Department of Transportation has found that wrong-way accidents caused 12 times the number of deaths compared with all other accidents on highways with controlled access, perhaps because they often involve more than one vehicle.
To be on the other end of a car driving at you the wrong way must be a completely terrifying experience. Again, the driver driving the right way generally has no time to avoid the crash or prepare for impact. If you or your loved one were injured in a wrong way accident caused by the other driver, know that California law is on your side. If your loved one did not survive the accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent driver.
You may wonder how a driver could enter onto a highway through an exit ramp. The answer is often alcohol and/or drugs. Sometimes, however, the driver is not driving under the influence but rather is unable to read missing or improperly placed signage or signs blocked by heavy vegetation, an out-of-town driver who is unfamiliar with a particular roadway, or a distracted driver — just one more reason to not text and drive.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a wrong way accident, Woodland Hills auto accident attorney Barry P. Goldberg can help you and your family determine the cause of the wrong way accident and help you recover financial compensation for injuries and/or losses, including, if appropriate, punitive damages from all responsible parties. For a free, no obligation consultation, contact Barry P. Goldberg today.