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Head-on collisions present real dangers for Virginia drivers

Car accidents can happen for many reasons. A driver may be distracted, an obstacle may be in the road, or weather conditions may lead to a collision. One of the most dangerous forms of car accidents, however, occurs when a driver drives in the opposite direction of the traffic flow. Wrong-way driving, such as those that occur on highways as well as entrance and exit ramps, is not only illegal but may also lead to serious and even fatal head-on collisions.

Though wrong-way collisions are not as common as other types of car accidents, accounting for roughly three percent of accidents on high-speed divided highways, they often pose much more severe consequences than other accidents. Wrong-way driving accidents, which often result in head-on collisions, more commonly lead to serious injuries and fatalities than other accidents. Significantly, a Virginia study determined that fatalities were 27 times more likely for wrong-way collisions than for other car accidents.

Drivers between the ages of 20 and 50 are most likely to be responsible for wrong-way driving. The youngest drivers of this group are also more likely to be inebriated behind the wheel when driving the wrong way. According to one study, of those drivers ages 20 to 39 who were driving the wrong-way, 65 percent had a blood alcohol content level of at least 0.08. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the vast majority of wrong-way collisions occur in the hours between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Driving the wrong way on a highway can be dangerous for all drivers on the road. If you or a loved one has been injured or died due to the negligence of a wrong-way driver, you may have a cause of action. A monetary award could be available through a personal injury claim or wrongful death suit, helping to cover losses and damages related to the accident.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board, "Wrong Way Driving," accessed May 6, 2016

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