“There’s a car headed right towards me,” an Indiana driver
told 911 dispatchers. “I had to pull off the road. He’s in
my lane headed west, it has me shaken!”
That was the call from one of the nine different people who dialed emergency
dispatchers in the minutes leading up to a deadly wrong way crash in Peru
earlier this month. The tragic crash killed the 86-year-old wrong way
driver and two IU Kokomo students. According to the U.S. Department of
Transportation, about 350 people die in the U.S. every year because of
a wrong way driving accident.
State police say the older driver was traveling on a rainy night, westbound
in the eastbound lanes and got confused on the divided highway. His vehicle
hit the teen’s car head-on. Indiana police say they just weren’t
able to stop him from the time dispatchers received the calls to when
the crash occurred. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has found that 78 percent of all wrong way crashes occur at night.
Wrong Way Accidents Trend In Similar Review
The NTSB has also released a special report in which they looked at data
from wrong way accidents to find common trends. Some of the characteristics
they discovered were shockingly similar to the events in the Peru wrong
NTSB report provided these statistical trends:
- Drivers over the age of 70 presented the majority as at-fault in wrong
way accidents. This may be due to difficulty seeing signage, as vision
tends to get worse as we age.
- Most wrong way movements involve a vehicle entering an exit ramp.
- Wrong way collisions are more likely to occur at night. The combination
of tired drivers, intoxicated drivers, and lack of visibility due to darkness
make it much more likely that wrong way accidents will occur at night,
between 6 pm and 6 am.
- Wrong way crashes disproportionately occur on the weekend. Again, this
may be in part due to the fact that more people go out drinking on the
weekend than on weekdays.
- Most wrong way collisions occur in the lane closest to the median. The
NTSB found that 7 out of 9 wrong way collisions occur in this lane.
- The majority of wrong way drivers are intoxicated. As you might imagine,
this is by and large the most common cause of wrong way accidents. A meta-analysis
by the NTSB found that more than half and as many as three quarters of
wrong way accidents are the fault of a
drunk driver. In the cases where the blood alcohol level of the driver could be found,
the majority of at-fault drivers were found to have a BAC at or above
.15—almost twice the legal limit.
Our thoughts are with the families involved in this tragic accident.
Have you or a loved one been impacted by a wrong way driver or a drunk
driver? If so, the vehicular accident attorneys at
Wagner Reese have the experience to help you potentially secure compensation and assist
you with your recovery. In the case of wrongful death, we understand there
is no way of replacing the loved one you have lost. If you’ve been
injured, or if you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligent
driving, call our offices today at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a FREE