Highways and roadways can be fraught with so many incidents caused by distracted drivers, drivers under the influence, and reckless speedsters. These factors can lead to terrible accidents and the loss of innocent lives. One type of crash that appears to be on the rise is wrong-way crashes. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimates around 400 people die each year in wrong-way accidents. Many victims who do survive are often left with serious personal injuries.
If you or a loved one has been an innocent victim of a wrong-way crash, seek the assistance and legal representation of a car accident lawyer. The loss of a loved one under these circumstances is tragic and preventable. Legal compensation may be available to you. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we have been advocating for victims and their families for more than three decades and are available to assist you.
Media all over the country often report details of horrific wrong-way crashes. The offending drivers pose a huge safety risk on the roads and the fallout from the crashes can be catastrophic. Head-on collisions are the usual outcome, ending with fatalities and serious injuries.
Recent studies have found that out of 100 wrong-way crashes, more than 60 percent result in injury or fatality compared to 45 percent out of 100 for all other types of crashes. This is a strong indicator that wrong-way crashes tend to be more severe and have a greater chance of death or serious injury than most other crash types. One Virginia study found that wrong-way collisions are almost 30 times more like to result in the deaths of victims than other types of vehicle accidents.
Several factors may play a role in contributing to a wrong-way crash. Although occurring in different proportions, they may involve drivers of a certain age group. Drivers between the ages of 16 through 34 are typically the highest offenders, as were male drivers, however, collected data also reveals that drivers who are over the age of 70 account for about 15 percent of all wrong-way accidents.
Researchers have looked at other factors such as language comprehension and confusing or obscure signage, but the overriding cause is driver impairment. Whether it be drug- or alcohol-fueled, drivers who are impaired put their fellow motorists at risk. In fact, 70 percent of wrong-way crashes are attributed to driver impairment.
There also appears to be a pattern regarding the time of wrong-way crashes. They are five times more likely to occur in the early morning hours. This timing coincides with bars and clubs closing in many areas.
A motorist entering a highway the wrong way on an exit ramp is one of the leading causes of wrong-way crashes. Motorists inadvertently taking one-way streets, left-side exit ramps, and U-turns are all factors that contribute to serious accidents.
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Car crash victims often suffer from injuries that require a long-term recovery process. This often involves high medical expenses, as well as lost wages from work, and pain and suffering. And it is not uncommon for victims to suffer life-long damage from these injuries.
Insurance companies will often try to pressure car crash victims to settle their claims quickly and for much less than what the victim deserves. That is why it is critical to contact a skilled Virginia car accident attorney immediately following a collision for advice and direction. Call Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp today to schedule a free and confidential consultation and ensure you get the financial compensation you are entitled to.
For more information, download our free guide to car crash injuries in Virginia.