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Wrong-Way Drivers: Understanding How It Happens

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2018 | Criminal Law

Almost everyone has a story about a time they saw a driver going the wrong way down a one-way street or the interstate. But how does this happen? In the cold light of day, it seems like staying on the right side of the road is a no-brainer. However, research shows there are several explanations for wrong-way drivers.


Not surprisingly, drunk drivers are one of the main causes of wrong-way driving. Alcohol and drugs, even some over-the-counter medications, can influence one’s judgment, as well as their ability to think and reason logically.


Younger drivers may not have enough experience to recognize the clues that keep more experienced drivers from wrong-way driving. The young driver may be so excited at the prospect of the open road they miss the fact that all the cars are parked facing the opposite way (on both sides of the street). They are also less familiar with street signage and the lines painted on the roadway (yellow on the left, white on the right).


Road construction is also a major contributor to wrong-way driving. An entrance to the freeway may be modified. A road that was formerly a two-way street may be reduced to traffic in one direction only. Someone unfamiliar with the road construction pattern, especially during our long winter nights, may become confused and turn the wrong way down a street or entrance ramp.


Sometimes a driver is affected by a serious medical condition that impairs their ability to successfully maneuver the car. Diabetics may experience issues related to blood sugar levels. One might have a heart attack, a seizure, or a stroke while driving. There are other medical conditions, some related to medications, that can also substantially impair one’s judgment.


Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents today. Distracted driving includes texting, emailing, or using one’s phone in some other way while driving. It can also include putting on makeup while driving, eating, smoking, having a conversation with a passenger, or any number of other activities which can divert one’s attention from the very important task at hand – driving their car!


If you have been injured by a wrong-way driver or some other car collision, contact the attorneys at Frost & Kavanaugh. Arthur Frost focuses his practice on personal injury claims, representing people who have been injured due to another driver’s negligence. There is no fee for a consultation. In fact, there is no fee unless we recover damages in your case. Consequently, there is no risk in determining whether you have a case against the other driver. Call today to set up an appointment at (518) 730-4222.