Wrong-Way Driving Accidents in New York
Experienced New York City Car Crash Lawyers
Wrong-way driving accidents in New York are always serious and often fatal. There is little to protect innocent drivers who suddenly find another vehicle hurtling toward them from the wrong direction. Wrong-way head-on car wrecks are a truly terrifying scenario, one which drivers consistently admit as their most feared. The fact that many of Hollywood’s action and horror films feature a wrong-way head-on crash reflects just how desperately we all hope to avoid them. Sadly, these accidents are not limited to the silver screen. They do happen in real life — usually as a result of drunk driving – to friends and neighbors on our streets.
- Several people were hurt in a wrong-way crash involving a drunk driver on the Bronx River Parkway in Yonkers on a late February morning.
- A Suffolk County police officer was seriously injured in a head-on crash while he was on duty.
In fact, wrong-way driving accidents (WWDA) account for between 300 and 400 deaths in the United States every year, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT). Many more are seriously injured. The problem is so serious that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) commissioned a special investigation into wrong-way car crashes in 2012. The NTSB findings include the following:
- While wrong-way accidents are rare when compared to other kinds of accidents (including other head-on collisions), they tend to be fatal, and that rate has remained relatively unchanged for many years.
- Wrong-way collisions occur most often at night, on the weekends, and in lanes closest to a median.
- More than 60 percent of wrong-way collisions are drunk driving accidents.
- There is not yet enough data to determine how often drugs are involved in wrong-way crashes, whether legal or illegal. But law enforcement knows a certain percentage of WWDAs are caused by drivers under the influence of drugs.
- Older drivers are “over-represented” in wrong-way accidents. Authorities suspect that age-induced dementia, disorientation and slow reaction times all play a part in many WWDAs.
- To be most effective, prevention efforts should focus on traffic control devices, wrong way signage, interchange design, and anti-drunk driving measures.
Ultimately, the NTSB report describes “collisions involving vehicles traveling the wrong way on high-speed divided highways” as “one of the most serious types of highway accidents” and calls on state and local governments to address the issue with urgency.
Senseless Tragedies: Preventable Wrong-Way Driving Accidents in New York
Frustratingly enough, most wrong-way driving accidents in New York are preventable. Even in cases where the at-fault driver is not known to have been “under the influence,” it is likely that some other kind of negligent behavior is to blame. The most common causes of wrong-way driving accidents in New York include:
- Impaired driving due to alcohol intoxication, drug use, or a combination of both
- Texting and driving (“intextication”)
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving (driver fatigue)
- Unfit or unlicensed drivers
- Inadequate roadway lighting
- Inadequate or confusing traffic signage or traffic control devices
- Poor interchange design
Victims of head-on WWDAs are likely to experience the following injuries:
- Head trauma (concussions and traumatic brain injury, TBI)
- Neck, back, and spine trauma
- Broken facial bones
- Chest and thoracic trauma
- Broken bones
- Wrongful death
Injured victims can seek financial recovery from any at-fault party, which may include drivers, vehicle manufacturers, insurance companies, local or state governments, and more. The compensation in these cases tends to be substantial, as most WWDA injuries are acute and many tend to be debilitating. Additionally, the experienced New York City car crash lawyers at Kaplan Lawyers PC can help grieving family members secure justice for their loss after a wrongful death. We have extensive experience working with families touched by this tragedy. Our mission is to provide compassionate and comforting service as we aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf, allowing you to take the time you need to recover and be with the people you love.
Free Consultation with Experienced New York City Car Crash Lawyers
Wrong-way accidents are terrible ordeals. No family should have to face them alone. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we provide to our clients experienced guidance, aggressive strategies, and unyielding respect. We invite you to schedule a free consultation with our experienced New York City and Long Island car crash lawyers to learn more about your rights. Contact us today.
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