Three people died early Thursday morning when their SUV was struck by an automobile traveling the wrong direction on Interstate 565. The at fault parties’ car was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes near the Space and Rocket Center. Huntsville Police blocked all eastbound lanes of Interstate 565 after the accident, and were still working the scene after 5:30 am.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that wrong way drivers are involved in 1.5% of all fatal crashes. On average about 350 people are killed each year nationwide in wrong-way freeway crashes. Drivers who cause accidents by driving the wrong way on any road or highway give other drivers on the road few options. At interstate speeds, most wrong-way collisions are head-on impacts with often critical or fatal injuries. Wrong-way accidents are most common — and most deadly — on the interstate where drivers may be confused by on-ramps or interchanges.
Causes of Wrong-Way Accidents in Alabama
There are numerous causes of wrong-way accidents in Alabama. Some of the reasons include:
- The driver is drunk or on drugs(becoming more common now)
- Construction, detour or confusing road sign
- Older driver confused by road signs
- Emergency health situation
- Distracted driving
- Poorly marked roads
- Unfamiliarity with the area
- Passing vehicles on the wrong side of the road
- Speed or dangerous maneuvers that cause a loss of vehicle control
- Vehicle defects that cause cars to swerve and hit other cars
How to Prevent Wrong-way Accidents in Alabama
There are ways to prevent wrong-way accidents such as:
- Clearly mark one-way streets
- Wrong-way signs at freeway, highway, and interstate exit ramps
- Wrong-way pavement arrows
- Flashing lights and signs in critical areas.
- Concrete barriers that prevent drivers from entering roads from the wrong direction.
- Wrong-way warning system that combines video surveillance and directional movement detection.
- Electromagnetic sensors in ramp pavement to detect wrong-way vehicles.
- Removing objects that obscure views of interchanges.
- Increased lighting to improve vision at interchanges at night, the time when most wrong-way crashes occur.
- Separating on- and off-ramps to prevent confusion.
- Improvements in design.
Questions We Ask to Get the Answers you Need
- Was the accident intentional?(playing chicken)
- Was the driver drunk or on drugs?
- How far did the vehicle travel in the wrong direction before the fateful collision?
- Where was the driver coming from before accident?(bar)
- Did the driver continue despite others honking, flashing their lights and swerving?
- Was there a 911 call made?
- Who owns the vehicle?
- Was the driver working at the time of accident?
- How fast was the driver going?
Why Hire an Attorney
If you or a family member was injured or killed by a driver who drove the wrong way and caused injuries, you should speak with an experienced Huntsville personal injury lawyer. At the Law Firm of Ferguson & Ferguson, our attorneys understand the sources of insurance coverage, including the other driver’s policy, the victim’s own policy and the liability of third parties when applicable. When the injuries are serious, every available dollar will be needed to cover bills, lost income and future care needs. For a free consultation, call 256-534-3435 now. We can help.