According to a new report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the number of wrong-way driving accidents in the U.S. increased by almost 35% in recent years. Most wrong way driving accidents are the result of drunk driving, but they can also be caused by mistakes by older drivers or drowsy drivers. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently issued a list of guidelines for state transportation agencies to prevent these kinds of accidents.
Wrong-way driving accidents are some of the most devastating accidents that occur on Atlanta roads. These accidents typically involve head-on collisions that occur at high speeds that result in fatalities. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a primary cause of wrong-way driving accidents. Drunk driving – specifically, driving while excessively intoxicated – is strongly linked to wrong-way driving. Excessive alcohol intoxication or a blood alcohol concentration level that is between 0.8 and .15%, or close to double the legally permitted blood alcohol concentration level in Georgia, is often linked to these devastating driving errors.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety advises that state transportation agencies increase their implementation of DUI checkpoints or sobriety checkpoints. The Foundation also advises states like Georgia to strengthen laws requiring the installation of ignition interlock devices on the vehicles of motorists who are convicted of drunk driving. An ignition interlock device determines the level of intoxication of the motorist, and activates to prevent the motorist from starting the car if those intoxication levels are above a pre-set limit. Many states, including Georgia, require the installation of ignition interlock devices in the cars of motorists who are convicted of repeat DUI offenses. Several safety advocates have called for the application of these laws to all drunk driving offenders, even first – time offenders. A stringent application of the law would significantly reduce the number of intoxicated motorists on our streets.
The Foundation also advises a modification of the laws to identify and protect senior motorists who are at risk of these accidents. Cognitive impairment can cause a senior driver to make the kind of driving error that results in him or her being at risk of wrong way driving accidents. Experts recommend better testing during driving license renewals, as well as refresher training programs for seniors to update their driving abilities. Transportation agencies could also look into the installation of more visible signage at proper locations in order to avoid these potentially deadly driving errors.
Motorists can do their part to reduce their risk of being involved in a drowsy driving accident. Avoid driving under the influence of alcohol. Drowsiness could cause the kind of inattention that causes a wrong way accident. Avoid driving if you are fatigued, or sleepy. Drowsiness can cause you to miss highway signs, and end up driving the wrong way.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drowsy driving accident, talk to an Atlanta car accident lawyer at the Katz Law Firm, and discuss your legal rights to a claim. You may be eligible for a claim that helps you recover compensation for a number of economic and non- economic damages, including medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering and other types of compensation. Your spouse could be eligible for loss of consortium damages too. Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.