Florida Ranks High in Wrong-Way AccidentsNovember 13, 2017 | Category: Automobile Accidents | Share
U.S. News and World Report said on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 that two people were killed in a wrong-way accident in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. On Tuesday, July 4, 2017 it reported that a wrong-way driver ran a Florida sheriff’s deputy off the road just minutes before crashing into another vehicle head-on. Hernando County Sheriff’s officials said that both drivers died in the crash just north of Tampa.
WINK News reported on October 3, 2017 of the charges against a San Carlos Park man who was accused of driving the wrong way on Interstate 75 and hitting another vehicle in August 2017. The woman in the other vehicle died. The San Carlos Park man was charged with the following, according to FHP (Florida Highway Patrol):
- Driving under the influence
- Vehicular homicide
- DUI property damage
- Possession of a controlled substance
These are just a few of the many accidents reported by the media. Studies by the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) show an average of more than 300 deaths per year in wrong-way crashes. Florida, Texas and California are the top three for total wrong-way accident fatalities in the United States.
Even though there has been an increase in warning signs and alert systems installed on Florida's interstates to stop wrong-way drivers, dangerous and potentially deadly crashes continue happening.
By definition, wrong-way driving happens when a driver, inadvertently or deliberately, drives against the main direction of flow along physically divided highways or their access ramps.
What do we know about wrong-way crashes?
According to a Wrong-Way Crash Study conducted by the Florida DOT (Department of Transportation):
- Wrong-way collisions are much more likely to result in fatal and serious injuries than other types of highway crashes.
- Approximately 69 percent of all traffic fatalities involve alcohol impairment.
- 57 percent of wrong-way crashes occurred on the weekends.
- 31 percent of wrong-way crashes occurred between midnight and 3:00 a.m.
- Drivers under the age of 30 account for 42 percent of wrong-way crashes.
- Drivers over the age of 70 account for 15 percent of wrong-way crashes.
- Approximately 75 percent of wrong-way crashes occurred in urban areas.
Causes of wrong-way crashes
The Orlando Sentinel reported the following:
- Deadly wrong-way crashes frequently involve impaired or disoriented drivers.
- They most often happen at night when visibility is reduced.
- The majority of wrong-way movements are entering the freeway/expressway from an exit ramp.
- When drivers get turned around on the highway, they stick to the side that mimics a normal two-way road, with opposing traffic on the wrong-way driver's left.
What efforts are being made to reduce wrong-way crashes?
Many state and local governments are implementing:
- Oversized and reflection taped “Wrong Way Do Not Enter” signs posted at driver eye sight level on exit ramps.
- No Right/Left Turn signs where they will be most easily seen by road users who might be intending to make wrong-way movements.
- Pavement marking arrows indicating the correct path to follow for traffic.
- Painted concrete medians/islands between entrance and exit ramps.
- Roundabouts and concrete median signs guiding traffic in the correct path.
“State and local government agencies are working to improve signs and barriers around potential wrong-way driving sites. However, drivers need to also do their part by being alert, undistracted and sober when driving. Should you be injured in a vehicle accident because of a wrong-way or any negligent driver, please contact us immediately after seeking medical assistance. We are here to assist you,” said Fort Myers Vehicle Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
Fort Myers Vehicle Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.