Like most South Florida motorists, you will probably experience a strong sense of panic if you see two headlights bearing down upon you in the same lane of traffic. This scenario is thankfully quite rare, but statistics from AAA still reveal some disturbing trends on wrong way car accidents. From 2015 to 2018, the number of fatal wrong way auto collisions increased 34% as compared to the time period from 2010 to 2014. In an average year, approximately 500 people are killed in these collisions, while thousands of other victims suffer serious and catastrophic injuries in wrong-way vehicle accidents.
If you were hurt in a crash caused by a motorist traveling in the opposite direction of traffic, it is critical to consult with a Miami car accident attorney about your legal rights and remedies. Plus, you may benefit from some tips to bear in mind for avoiding a wrong-way collision:
What to Do if You Encounter a Wrong Way Driver
It is natural for your first thought to be alerting a motorist who is traveling opposite of traffic, but your first priority should be getting out of the way. Pull over safely, come to a complete stop, and turn on your hazard lights. Then, call 911 to let law enforcement know about the wrong-way driver.
Depending on the location, traffic, and other circumstances, consider additional tips to avoid a wrong-way car accident.
- Flash your headlights, honk the horn, and make other efforts to get the driver’s attention.
- Do not attempt to follow a motorist who is traveling in the direction opposite of traffic.
- Never engage erratic or unsafe maneuvers to escape a wrong-way driver, except to avoid a crash. Swerving into another lane, slamming on the brakes, and speeding can also lead to collisions.
How to Avoid Being the Wrong Way Driver
According to AAA statistics, the top reason motorists end up driving the wrong way is impairment. Never operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Another cause of these incidents is talking on the phone, texting, and other cell phone use, so stow your device while driving. You might also consider driving with a passenger whenever possible, since another set of eyes in the car may prevent you from heading the wrong direction.
Keeping yourself safe may also mean knowing the other factors that can lead motorists to stray into a wrong way driving situation. Confusion about signage is an issue for elderly drivers and tourists visiting Miami, and it is a particular problem in construction zones.
Set Up a No-Cost Consultation with Miami Car Accident Attorney
Though the exact causes of a wrong-way collision may vary, these incidents are clearly the result of motorist negligence. You may be able to recover compensation for your losses, so please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA to learn how we can help with filing an insurance claim and litigation. We can schedule a free consultation to meet with you at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.