According to the National Transportation Safety Board, wrong-way driving is vehicular movement along a travel lane in a direction opposing the legal flow of traffic on high-speed divided highways or access ramps. Essentially, wrong-way driving is when a driver, either through confusion or recklessness, is driving in the wrong direction. While wrong-way accidents are rare, they are often fatal. They account for only about 3% of highway accidents, but are more likely to result in serious injury or fatality.
With ever-changing roads and hordes of lost tourists, Tampa Bay is a prime location for wrong-way collisions.
Why do wrong-way accidents occur?
- Construction Confusion
Tampa Bay strives to provide its residence with accessible roads, safe flyovers, and improved infrastructure. Unfortunately, this means that there is often construction. This may turn a driver around. Even for locals, confusing signs or road changes can lead to confusion and wrong-way accidents.
- Unfamiliar Drivers
Even without construction, new roads can be confusing. We’re lucky to have a beautiful city that thousands of tourists flock to each year. However, the influx of tourists, especially around the holidays, can lead to an increase in accidents.
- Reckless Driving
Of course, drunk and distracted driving plays a role in wrong-way accidents. A driver who is intoxicated or distracted may not notice signs or street changes. Additionally, if a lost or confused driver is headed in the wrong direction, an impaired driver might not see them, or be unable to stop in time. Like in all situations, drunk or distracted driving makes the situation worse.
If you are lost, pull into a safe parking lot or nearby spot to check your GPS. Like a cell phone, looking down at a GPS can lead to distraction, causing an accident. If you can, set your GPS to have audible directions, so that you can listen to the directions without even having to take your eyes of the road.
Stay alert, and keep an eye out for wrong-way drivers. In construction zone, pay attention to signs, other drivers, and roadside workers.
Don’t drink or drive, or drive while distracted. If someone is driving the wrong way, you want to be focused and alert enough to see them before it’s too late.
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.