It’s rare to find a type of car accident more deadly than a wrong-way crash. Head-on collisions can cause an incredible amount of damage, often crushing in the entire front half of both vehicles and killing everyone inside.
Although it might seem that driving on the wrong side of the road would be an uncommon occurrence, it unfortunately happens more than you would think and is making headlines all around the country.
The Causes of Wrong-Way Accidents
As with any type of accident, there is no singular cause. Most often, a person driving down the wrong side of the road is found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but exhaustion, emotional upset, mental disorders, vision problems, old age and other physical issues are also sometimes involved.
In some circumstances, bad sign placement or a lack of clear divide between the lanes is part of the problem. However, no matter what the circumstances, the driver is always responsible for making sure he or she is driving safely. There is no legitimate excuse for driving on the wrong side of the road and endangering the lives of others.
The Prevalence of Wrong-Way Accidents
Wrong-way accidents are happening all over the country, but there has been a rise in this type of crash in Atlanta. In 2012, the city suffered four different wrong-way crashes over a period of two weeks.
One of these crashes, which happened on August 24, involved a woman, Beverly Wilkins, who drove three miles on the wrong side of a Georgia highway. Her car collided with another, injuring herself and all five passengers of the other car. The police report stated that Wilkins was under the influence of some type of sedative drug at the time of the crash.
There was another wrong-way crash near Atlanta on August 31, this one unfortunately much worse. The driver, later identified as William B. Wright, was traveling the wrong way down interstate 85 just south of the airport when he collided with another truck.
Both vehicles exploded on impact and Wright was killed immediately. The passenger of the other truck later died at the hospital, and the driver was very seriously injured.
The carnage that these travesties leave behind have many concerned about the safety of our roadways. For instance, the state of Georgia has experienced several wrong way accidents in recent years. State Department of Transportation (D.O.T) officials and injury attorneys like Stokes & Kopitsky, P.A. have encountered this issue all too often.
It stands to reason, the frequency of these accidents has become dire. Atlanta isn’t the only city that has seen this unfortunate and senseless type of accident. There have been similar incidents in New York, Phoenix, Denver and many other major cities around the country. This past June, a wrong-way driver caused a huge pileup that seriously injured 11 people in San Fernando.
A Cause to Worry
It’s unfortunate, but wrong-way accidents, and other accidents resulting from reckless driving, often harm the innocent. The world we live in has always been a very dangerous place, but many parents are worried that the roads are becoming worse than ever.
It seems like almost every day you hear something on the news about a drunk or drugged driver, or a motorist who was texting at the wheel. It can be difficult knowing that each and every time you go out, you are putting your family at risk. However, there is no possible way to guarantee safety, and your best bet is to learn to drive as defensively as possible.
Clearly, this isn’t a problem that is going away anytime soon, although experts believe that continuing to crack down on drugs, alcohol and other factors that lead to distracted driving could help.
Jamica Bell is a freelance writer and native of Georgia. She contributes this article as a way to highlight the frequency of wrong way accidents in hopes of decreasing them through awareness, and found in her research that Atlanta injury attorney firm, Stokes & Kopitsky, P.A., is committed to fighting for victims injured as a result of wrong way crashes.
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