Virginia Attorneys Fighting for Those Hurt by Wrong-Way Drivers

Driver error remains a common problem

Despite improvements in technology and navigation, accidents caused by driver error remain as common today as ever. It is very possible for someone to incorrectly judge a one-way street or highway off-ramp. Any time you get behind the wheel, especially on a fast-moving highway such as in interstate, you run the risk that someone else’s mistake about the road’s direction will result in a head-on collision with your vehicle.

Wrong way wrecks are usually head-on accidents and, as such, they are often more deadly than rear-end accidents because the forces of two vehicles are combined.

At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we represent Virginians and others who have been involved in car accidents, including some of the most serious crashes, caused by wrong-way drivers. We bring a combined 40 years of experience in Virginia courts to every case we handle.

Wrong-way collisions are some of the most damaging accidents

A crash that results from a car crossing over the center line, driving down the wrong side of a road or inadvertently entering the wrong direction on a highway can result in severe damage and extensive injuries to motorists. Such vehicle accidents are usually classified as:

  • Head-on accidents In recent years, more than half of all passenger vehicle occupant fatalities occurred in vehicles that sustained frontal damage, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 
  • Front-end collisions — Other front-end collisions are very traumatic events for the people caught up in them. The shock and impact of those events often lead to neck, back and spinal problems, as well as the possibility of head injury or concussion, sometimes requiring surgery.

Wrong-way accidents have many causes

There are many factors involved in most auto accidents. However, collisions caused by wrong-way drivers often involve some level of impairment by one party. One recent study found that common factors involved in head-on collisions, included:

  • Drugs and alcohol — As many as 60 percent of wrong-way drivers are intoxicated at the time of their accident.
  • Night driving — More than three-quarters of wrong-way accidents studied occurred at night or in the early morning hours, when visibility is limited.
  • Age — For those accidents that did not involve an intoxicated motorist, age appears to be a significant factor, as a disproportionate number of drivers involved were over the age of 65.
  • Fatigue – Tiredness is a major cause of wrong way-driving. Sleepy drivers are more likely to end up going the wrong way when it’s dark.
  • Poor Highway or Ramp Design - Bad highway signage can cause drivers to enter onto incorrect highway ramps and to go in the wrong direction.
  • Distracted driving – checking your cell phone or being distracted in another way such as looking at a device for directions, can lead you to veer across a highway or to make a mistake at an intersection.

Those factors and many others can be critical to determining fault and liability. Our attorneys can explain more about Virginia law and accident liability in a free consultation.

Research Into Wrong Way Driving

In 2012, the National Transportation Safety Board carried out a detailed study into wrong way driving. It cited a study in Virginia that found the death rate for wrong way accidents is 27 times higher than that of other types of accident.

The study stated that “remedial measures” have been attempted to reduce the number of wrong way accidents, ever since 1968 including measures to improve highway medians and markings.

Research has found that the majority of wrong-way drivers involved in crashes, were aged between 20 and 50, but the incidence of wrong way driving also increased over the age of 70. Younger wrong way drivers were more likely to be driving under the influence of alcohol than older drivers.

Contact us if you have been injured in an accident with a wrong-way driver

The team at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers represents those who have been hurt in accidents on roads of Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina. If you have suffered an injury caused by a wrong-way driver, our attorneys can help get you the compensation you’re entitled to. For a free consultation, contact us at 757.455.0077 or check us out online.