According to CBS Dallas Fort Worth, a driver traveling the wrong way in Weatherford recently caused a head-on collision. The motorist who was traveling in the wrong direction was driving east in the westbound lane on the 2200 block of Fort Worth Highway.
Our personal injury lawyers in Dallas know that wrong-way wrecks are much more likely to be fatal than other types of highway accidents. Tragically, the accident resulted in both the death of the driver who was going the wrong way as well as the death of the motorist struck by the wrong-way driver. CBS reports indicate that the accident remains under investigation to determine the reason the motorist was traveling in the wrong direction.
The Dangers of Wrong Way Accidents
It comes as no surprise that the two Texas motorists involved in the wrong-way wreck in Weatherford lost their lives. In fact, a 2012 fact sheet from the National Transportation Safety Board reported that the death rate for wrong-way accidents is at least twelve times greater than for other types of car wrecks.
The NTSB data also contained other startling statistics about the dangers of wrong-way collisions. For example, the Fact Sheet on wrong-way accidents reported that:
- More than 80 percent of fatal-wrong way accidents involve high speed head-on crashes.
- An estimated 22 percent of wrong-way crashes were fatal according to a 2012 Michigan study, as compared with just .3 percent of highway accidents.
- An average of 260 wrong-way wrecks occur annually, costing around 360 lives each year.
- Around 60 percent of wrong-way driving accidents studied by the NTSB involved alcohol.
- Nine percent of wrong-way drivers had been convicted of a drunk driving offense within three years prior to the wrong-way accidents studied by the NTSB.
- The majority of drivers who are involved in wrong-way accidents enter an exit ramp in the wrong direction prior to the crash.
- Drivers may also go the wrong way after making a U-turn on the emergency turnaround or mainline of the highway.
- Seventy-eight percent of deadly wrong way wrecks occur between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
- Fifty-seven percent of wrong way wrecks occur on the weekends.
- The majority of wrong-way accidents happen in the lane located closest to the median.
- A total of 19 percent of wrong-way drivers were operating their cars without having a valid and proper driver’s license.
In the recent Fort Worth accident, information has not yet been revealed regarding how the motorist came to be traveling in the wrong direction, nor about whether he may have been intoxicated or impaired at the time of the crash. The facts surrounding the accident will need to be investigated to determine what, if anything, this driver did wrong.
In most cases, however, traveling in the wrong direction on a road is considered to be inherently negligent. In legal terms, this means that driving in the wrong direction could be considered negligence per se. A motorist, or his surviving family members, would therefore not need to specifically prove negligence in a wrongful death or personal injury claim.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact the Carse Law Firm. Call 877-865-2580 or complete our online contact form for a free consultation.