Why do wrong-way highway drivers turn onto oncoming traffic?

Everyone knows that driving the wrong way on the highway is extremely unsafe and can lead to a terrible car accident. But wrong-way crashes still happen. How do these terrible lapses of judgment happen? A recent incident on Highway 27 and Interstate 24 in Chattanooga provides two common explanations.

One afternoon in late December, police received word that a pickup truck was involved in two crashes on Highway 27 and was still going. Officers found the truck and tried to pull it over, but the driver resisted, weaving through lanes and headed for I-24. Police tried to block the driver from entering the interstate, but she entered the eastbound lanes going west while trying to avoid police.

The truck quickly crashed head-on into yet another vehicle but amazingly kept going. Finally, police pinned the truck against the median and forced the driver to stop. The driver allegedly admitted to drinking two large bottles of alcohol before driving the pickup.

Drunk driving and more

Drunk driving is one explanation for ending up on the wrong side of a busy highway. So is trying to evade the police. However, there are other reasons drivers might enter the highway through an exit ramp and end up going the wrong way, including poor visibility, poor signage, inexperience with driving, being in an unfamiliar area, or judgment due to Alzheimer’s disease or another forms of dementia.

Negligently driving the wrong way has consequences

Even in cases where the wrong-way driver did not mean to do it, the driver may have still acted negligently. For example, confusing an exit ramp for an onramp generally only happens when the driver did not read road signs carefully or observe what other drivers were doing. If they cause a crash (which is highly likely), they could be fully liable for the resulting injuries to the other people involved.

If you have been involved in an accident with a wrong way driver, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.  If you have been charged with a criminal offense for driving on the wrong side of the road, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.  Summers, Rufolo, & Rodgers has both experienced personal injury and criminal defense attorneys ready to assist you.

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