Wrong-Way Collisions

wrong way collisions wrong way driving head on collisions

Wrong-way collisions are most often head-on collisions. A wrong-way accident is defined as a driver who operates their vehicle in the opposite direction of travel on a freeway or highway and collides with a vehicle traveling in the right direction. (A head-on collision is defined similarly.)

Driver error is the most common cause for wrong-way collisions, such as when a driver enters a highway exit ramp instead of the entrance ramp. Other common causes include:

  • Drivers under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications
  • Driver may be distracted by a mobile device and cross the center line of the road
  • Drivers unfamiliar with the roadways
  • Poorly marked ramps and/or poor ramp design
  • Drowsy driving
  • Turning wrong way down a narrow or one-way road

Wrong-way accidents cause between 300 and 400 roadway fatalities each year according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), and 50 to 75% of all wrong-way driving incidents involve an intoxicated driver.

Study by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 23, 2021) Fatal wrong-way driving crashes on our nation’s highways are a persistent and devastating threat that is only getting worse.  According to the latest data analysis from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there were 2,008 deaths from wrong-way driving crashes on divided highways between 2015 and 2018, an average of approximately 500 deaths a year.  That is up 34% from the 375 deaths annually from 2010 to 2014. Researchers found that the odds of being a wrong-way driver increased with alcohol-impairment, older age, and driving without a passenger.

“Wrong-way crashes on divided highways are often fatal as they are typically head-on collisions,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “And unfortunately, as the data shows, fatalities from these crashes are on the rise.”

Read more.

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Wrong-Way accidents Cause Severe Injuries

Wrong-way driving accidents may be infrequent but often they can be fatal. Other injuries include:

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Wrong-way accidents cause severe injuries.

  • Head/Traumatic brain injury
  • Internal bleeding and organ failure
  • Multiple fractures and broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Chest and ribcage damage caused by airbag or seatbelt
  • Amputations/loss of limbs and/or disfigurement
  • Crushed extremities
  • Lacerations and severe scarring

Head-on Collisions

Head-on collisions are one of the most dangerous and deadliest types of car accidents. Like wrong-way collisions, they can result in catastrophic injuries, permanent impairments, and wrongful deaths.

Head-on collisions happen when one vehicle runs directly into the front of another vehicle that is traveling in the opposite direction. This is the most fatal type of accident since drivers are impacted by the full force of the collision. It is not an accident that typically happens at low speeds; however, even if the vehicles are traveling at a moderate speed of 40 mph, at the time of the crash the impact speed would be 80 mph.

How common are head-on collisions? In 2020, frontal impact caused 13,845 fatalities. [Source: Passenger vehicle occupants (iihs.org)] 

Seriously injured in a Head-on or Wrong-Way Collision?

Each driver has a legal obligation (or “duty of care”) to look out for the safety of other drivers, pedestrians and other individuals. When a driver fails this, negligence has taken place and the at fault party may be held liable for damages and injuries caused.

Having an attorney who is your advocate can offer you peace of mind during your recovery. We have a successful track record of helping accident victims collect the compensation they deserve. Our attorneys can:

  • Investigate the cause of your accident, gather evidence and identify all responsible parties
  • Document your damages to maximize the value of your personal injury claim
  • File insurance claims and handle all communication with the insurance company
  • Calculate the correct value of your injury claim
  • Monitor all deadlines under the statutes of limitations
  • File a personal injury lawsuit, if necessary

What Our Clients Are Saying

Call Nash & Franciskato for a free No-Obligation Case Review

Have you or a loved one been seriously injured in a wrong-way or head-on motor vehicle accident in which you suffered serious injuries due to another’s negligence? Call the Kansas City-based law firm of Nash & Franciskato at (877) 284-6600.

One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and will provide you with a free, no-obligation case evaluation.



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