Wrong-Way Crashes On the Rise in Texas
Drivers injured in car accidents that happen as a result of drivers going the wrong way down a highway are quickly rising in Texas.
I'll admit it, whenever I hear about an accident that involved somebody heading down the highway in the wrong direction, I think "drunk driver". Many of us do. Obviously, there are other circumstances that may have caused these types of accidents. It may just be that a motorist got confused, lost, or after being on the road for several hours they may have just made a mistake.
AAA Study Shows Wrong-Way Crashes on the Increase
ABC13.com shared a story with several interesting stats that come from a recent AAA study about Fatal Wrong-Way Crashes on a Divided Highway. The study states that between 2010 to 2018, America saw 3885 deaths as a result of wrong-way crashes. Usually, it was the driver of the vehicle going the wrong way that ended up as the fatality resulting from the accident.
Wrong-Way Crashes in Texas
In Texas, fatalities from wrong-way crashes averaged about 60 deaths each year from 2010 to 2014. From 2015 to 2018 that number jumped up to 77 deaths each year. An increase of nearly 30%. Between 2015 to 2018, Texas led the nation with the most fatalities resulting from wrong-way accidents with 309 from 2015 to 2018. Some of the factors behind these crashes include drug or alcohol use. Other factors include accidents involving elderly drivers. A large number of wrong-way accidents also involved motorists traveling alone as the only passenger in the car, meaning nobody is next to the driver saying "you're going the wrong way!"
Three Life-Saving Tips for Drivers
So what steps can you take to avoid being involved in a wrong-way accident?
1) Keep your eyes on the road. Some people like to constantly check mirrors and blind spots to see what's around them and end up losing sight of the road in front of them for a second or two. That's all the time an impaired driver might need to suddenly be traveling right at you.
2) Put the phone away. If you are driving the vehicle, just put your phone away. If you aren't using your GPS, most anything else on your phone can wait till you arrive at your destination.
3) Debbie Callahan with CyFair Driving Schools is the education chair with the Texas Professional Drivers Association. She told ABC13.com that the best thing you can do when you see a motorist headed right at you from the wrong direction is to apply your breaks and steer the car to the right to avoid a head-on collision. Getting out of their path as much as you can save your life. So will your seatbelt.