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The frequency of wrong-way car crashes is increasing

Wrong-way car crashes are becoming increasingly common nationwide, causing great concern due to their severity. They are the most severe types of car accidents.

Even though they occur less frequently than other car accidents (for example, a car accident involving a driver running a red light and colliding with another vehicle at low speed), these wrong-way accidents are the most fatal type of accidents.

Why are wrong-way car crashes so severe?

Wrong-way vehicle crashes are extremely dangerous and often fatal because they tend to be head-on collisions and can cause a ripple effect due to high speed.

Oftentimes, the vehicles behind the car directly involved in the wrong-way car crash does not have enough time to hit the breaks or switch lanes, which can involve them in the accident and put them at risk of injury or death.

What can I do to prevent a wrong-way car crash?

While there are things you can do to prevent any type of car accidents, remember that you might be the vehicle driving in the right direction and collide with a vehicle that is driving in the wrong direction.

While that would not be your fault, it demonstrates how difficult it is to avoid wrong-way car crashes entirely.


Alcohol is the main reason for wrong-way vehicle crashes. However, there are other risk factors that are important to consider before you get on the road:

These additional risk factors include:

  • The age of the driver
  • The use of tech devices (mobile phones)
  • DUI or DWI
  • Driving in the dark
  • Driving without a current license

While some of these risk factors seem obvious, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, others are not as obvious as you may think and it is important to understand them.

For example, age is a risk factor. Both younger drivers and drivers over the age of 70 are at a higher risk of being involved in a wrong-way car crash. If you are over the age of 70, talk to your doctor and make sure that you are healthy enough to drive.

Prescription medications

Driving under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs are obvious risks, but there is not enough awareness surrounding the impact that prescription drugs can have on a driver.

Talk to your doctor about whether any prescription medication you take could impair your ability to drive responsibly, which involves the ability to respond quickly if you see a vehicle driving toward you.

It may seem like common sense but responsible driving requires you to be physically healthy, focused on driving and awake.

Wrong-way car accidents are serious and often fatal, so it is key to understand what places you at a higher risk of being involved in one. Choose safety not only for yourself but also for everyone else on the road.


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