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How Do I Handle a Wrong-Way Car Accident?

January 25, 2022

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Advocate for Clients Involved in Wrong-Way Driving Collisions.

Motorists entrust each other to abide by the rules of the road to keep everyone safe. Aside from remaining cognizant behind the wheel, motorists believe that their peers are well versed and knowledgeable on the streets that they use. Despite everyone’s best intentions, a simple wrong turn can have severe consequences, including a car accident. This is especially true if the turn places the motorist against oncoming drivers.

Why Do Wrong-Way Accidents Occur?

Wrong-way accidents happen when a motorist drives the vehicle into the opposite direction of travel, crashing with cars traveling in the right direction. These accidents tend to happen when a motorist enters a freeway using the exit ramp and on city streets at a low rate of speed. Driver error is the most recurrent reason for wrong-way collisions; however, car malfunction or a poor roadway scheme can also be a cause of these accidents.

Many wrong-way accidents are caused by the following:

  • Impaired driving is a major cause of wrong-way accidents. A report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) stated that over half of all wrong-way collisions involve a drunk driver. Usually, drunk drivers in these mishaps have a substantially high blood alcohol level, having consumed twice the legal limit or more.
  • Elderly motorists account for 15 percent of wrong-way collisions. A litany of reasons for the mishaps involves health complications disorienting the driver such as vision problems or dementia, or physical limitations that prevent them from correcting an error swiftly enough to avoid a collision.
  • A distracted driver who is not focused on the road ahead because of texting or talking on a cellphone could possibly merge against traffic, turn onto the wrong highway ramp, or drive the wrong way up a one-way street.
  • Motorists who are unaccustomed with an area may not know how to traverse traffic circles, one-way streets, or the direction of travel in alleys. Often, drivers may cause wrong-way accidents on entry or as they attempt an illegal U-turn to follow the car’s GPS navigation instructions.
  • Detours can cause confusion when rerouting traffic during construction, particularly if parallel lanes are briefly used for opposite-direction traffic. Without proper signage and lane-shifting techniques, motorists could stay in the wrong lane after the detour has ended.
  • Road design flaws on highway interchanges, especially cloverleaf and partial cloverleaf designs, can pose a risk of collisions if entrance and exit ramps are parallel. If highway entrances and exits occur at intersections, motorists turning left may accidentally turn too low, putting them in the path of traffic rather than on the opposing side.
  • Lack of warning signs such as badly marked ramps, the absence of do not enter signs, poor lighting, and signs obstructed by foliage have the potential to cause a motorist to enter a street the wrong way. Signs are crucial because a driver can mistakenly be driving the wrong way and notice their error only when other vehicles appear.
  • Malfunctioning car equipment could have the vehicle manufacturer liable for a wrong-way car accident if a defective tire, faulty steering system, or other defective vehicle part was the catalyst behind a motorist entering traffic facing the wrong direction.

Proving Fault in Wrong-Way Driving Accidents

In order for you to receive compensation for a wrong way car accident, one of the following four variables must be proved: the other driver has the duty to drive with reasonable care and caution; the other motorist did not drive with reasonable care and caution and breached their duty; causation caused the accident to happen; and you suffered personal injury because of a driver’s lack of care, and you have documentation of your injuries and expenses.

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Advocate for Clients Involved in Wrong-Way Driving Collisions

Mistakenly driving the wrong way down a one-way road can happen to even the most attentive of drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured in a wrong-way car accident, contact the knowledgeable Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C.  Our experienced legal team will investigate the cause of the accident and develop a strong case to help you get the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us today at 215-569-9100 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.