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Car Accidents

What to Do if You See a Wrong-Way Driver

Thousands of people every year are involved in wrong-way crashes on divided highways and other roads. These types of crashes often cause head-on collisions, which have a very high fatality rate. 

If you or a loved one were injured in a crash caused by a wrong-way driver, exercise your legal rights. Often, alcohol and/or drugs are at play in these accidents, and by holding the person responsible, you can help prevent more crashes from occurring.

Call the renowned personal injury firm Langdon & Emison at (866) 931-2115 for more information.

5 Things to Do if You See a Wrong-Way Driver

Most wrong-way collisions occur on divided highways, roads with a median between lanes of traffic. If you’re on a divided highway and see a vehicle coming toward you, do the following:

  • Use extreme caution
  • Slow down by easing your foot off the gas
  • Check that there’s no vehicle next to you
  • Steer away from the wrong-way driver
  • Get to a safe place off the road and call the police

Because most wrong-way crashes happen between the hours of 9 pm and 5 am, always use extreme caution when driving at night. It’s a good idea to keep your eyes on the horizon so you can see and have plenty of time to get out of the way of a wrong-way driver.

You should also try to “stay right at night,” meaning you should keep in the right lane unless you absolutely must pass someone.

Avoid driving in the left lane (fast lane) at night. This is because most wrong-way drivers know, even in an inebriated state, that opposing traffic should be on their left; most of them will drive in their right lane, which would be your left. Staying in the right lane will help you avoid a head-on collision.

What You Can Do to Stop Wrong-Way Drivers

As mentioned throughout this article, most wrong-way drivers are drunk or otherwise inebriated when they travel into the wrong lane. Knowing this, the best way to prevent wrong-way driving and subsequent head-on collisions is by stopping impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel.

Harsher penalties, formidable police presence, and educational initiatives are helping keep drunk drivers off the streets, but plenty of people still make the mistake of drinking and driving.  When you’re trying to prevent a friend or family member from driving after having too much to drink, but don’t want to ruin or put a strain on the relationship, follow these tips:

  • Talk to the person away from other people. They could find your intervention embarrassing if everyone else can hear.  
  • Ask politely for their keys. You can hold on to them or give them to the owner or bartender for safekeeping. Tell your friend or family member that you’ll accompany them the next day to retrieve their keys, or offer to pick them up yourself.

Sometimes, a drunk person will not listen until the authorities intervene. Try to stay with your friend or family member until the police show up. They’ll prevent the person from driving and potentially causing a wrong-way crash.

The important thing is that you make sure your friend or family member knows that drinking and driving is an enormous risk, that you care about them, and that you’ll help them get home safely.

In a wrong-way collision? Call Langdon & Emison.

If you were injured in a crash caused by someone driving on the wrong side of the road, you have the right to pursue compensation for damages. Don’t assume you don’t have a case or that it would be a waste of time to do so.

It’s important to hold negligent parties accountable to keep others safe. If a negligent party caused the collision that then caused your injuries, you can pursue compensation to pay for your medical bills, medication, lost income, and more. 

Call Kansas City car accident lawyers Langdon & Emison at (866) 931-2115 today.