One of the deadliest types of North Carolina car accidents is a wrong-way crash. Statistics for these accidents show an alarming increase in the number of these accidents that occur each year. According to a major study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the average number of deaths per year in wrong-way accidents has jumped from 375 deaths to 500 deaths annually.
Just last night, two people were killed and two injured in a wrong-way crash that occurred on I-40 near the South Stratford Road overpass in Winston-Salem. According to police, a 2017 Kia passenger vehicle was traveling east on the westbound lane of I-40. A 2007 Toyota vehicle was traveling west in the westbound lane of I-40 when the 2017 Kia passenger vehicle collided head-on with it. The drivers of both vehicles died at the scene and a child in the Toyota was transported to the hospital with serious injuries. A 2018 Nissan passenger vehicle later struck the Toyota vehicle following the initial crash.
When a vehicle slams into another vehicle in the front at full impact, the forces caused by the crash will bring both vehicles to a full stop, but often causes great harm to any occupants in the vehicles. Sometimes the force of a wrong-way crash is so strong it causes one or both vehicles to roll over. The injuries that victims suffer are often catastrophic, including:
- Brain injuries – Although the vehicles have airbags that deploy in a head-on crash that are meant to cushion and prevent head injuries, there is still a high risk of the victim hitting their head on the wheel, dashboard, headrest, windows, or other object due to the force of the impact.
- Fractured bones – The crumbling of the vehicle caused by the impact usually causes fractured bones, such as the victim’s legs or arms from the steering wheel. If the fractures are severe enough, the victim may even need to have the limb amputated. There is also a high risk of broken ribs, which can pierce the lungs.
- Internal injuries – The stress caused by the impact force can also cause serious damage to a victim’s organs and/or cause internal bleeding. Severe damage to a victim’s lungs, heart, or excessive amount of blood loss can quickly turn fatal.
- Spinal cord injuries – The sudden jolt of a head-on crash can cause the victim’s head and neck to snap back and forward, which can result in severe whiplash and damage to neck vertebrae. There is also a high risk of damage to back vertebrae, including herniated or compressed discs. There are also many accidents where the spinal cord itself is injured, leaving the victim with permanent paralysis.
- Burn injuries – Because the impact of a head-on crash can be so intense, it is not uncommon for one or both vehicles to catch on fire, leaving vehicle occupants trapped and unable to get out of the vehicle in time to escape burn injuries and/or smoke inhalation.
Contact a Carolinas Personal Injury Attorney for Legal Assistance
If you have been injured in a wrong-way crash caused by another driver, contact a North Carolina car accident attorney to see what type of financial damages you may be entitled to. The legal team from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp has been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled personal injury attorneys to find out how we can help, call our office today for a free case evaluation.