Dallas residents may recall a recent wrong-way accident that killed five people, including three children and two drivers. The Mesquite accident involved a pickup truck that was going the wrong way and crashed into an SUV.
The truck was driven by a 27-year-old woman who was with her three children. A trooper spotted the truck before the head-on crash but could not stop it in time.
When a wrong-way accident occurs, a thorough investigation is required to determine what caused the accident. Often, there are specific reasons why drivers end up going the wrong way, and it is important to know them for purposes of determining liability.
Although wrong-way accidents happen for a variety of reasons, there are a few common causes. These include:
- DUI or DUI with Drugs
- Driver confusion due to unfamiliar roadways or poorly marked ramps & signs
- Health issues (memory-related issues, blood sugar imbalances, and more)
- Distracted driving
- Lack of visibility
- Drowsy driving
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is the leading cause of wrong-way accidents. Dallas residents already know that getting behind the wheel after a few drinks is dangerous. However, driving drunk can result in more than just poor driving judgment. Drivers often end up going the wrong way and causing serious or fatal accidents.
All drivers experience confusion at times from poorly placed roadway signs. They can end up driving the wrong way unintentionally. This also often results in wrong-way accidents, but in those situations, the roadway's design may be at fault.
Health issues are also a key factor in a significant number of wrong-way accidents. For example, elderly people suffering from memory-related conditions may drive the wrong way down a street because they are confused. Blood sugar imbalances can also cause people with diabetes to go the wrong way.
Injuries from wrong-way accidents are often serious. Keeping these causes in mind can assist in determining fault and recovering compensation after an injury-causing accident.
Source: KHOU, "5 die in head-on crash on I-20 in Mesquite," Associated Press, May 31, 2012.