A wrong-way car accident is not one of the most common types of collisions, but it is one of the most devastating. They can occur when a driver drives the wrong way on an exit or entrance ramp to the highway, crosses over a median on a highway, or drives the wrong way on a one-way road. In the majority of these collisions, someone is seriously injured or killed. In Rhode Island, victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries from the at-fault driver or other negligent party.
How Motorists Cause Wrong-Way Accidents
The majority of wrong-way wrecks are caused by driver error. These crashes tend to be more catastrophic because the vehicles are often traveling at a faster speed, and there is no time for the negligent driver or the victims to react. The vehicles often collide head-on, increasing the likelihood that victims will suffer life-altering injuries such as brain trauma, paralysis, broken bones, disfigurement, or death. Common reasons that individuals drive the wrong way include:
- Drunk driving or intoxication caused by drug use
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving
- Confusion that results when drivers are not familiar with the roads in the area
Road Defects That Lead to Wrong-Way Auto Collisions
Not all wrong-way accidents are caused by drivers. In some cases, a perfectly sober person who is driving carefully can drive the wrong way on a highway exit or entrance ramp because of road defects. Some of these problems that lead to wrong-way accidents include:
- Poorly marked ramps
- Improper ramp design
- Insufficient signs or missing signs
- Poor lighting
- Heavy foliage
When a road defect is the cause of a wreck, the case can be complex because the negligent party could be a municipality or other government agency.