Wrong-Way Driving Accidents in Dallas
- June 29, 2016
- Car Accidents
Imagine driving down a narrow exit ramp on a dark night and, suddenly, you see two lights coming directly at you at an alarming speed. Your eyes widen, your pulse quickens and you try to swerve, but there is little room to navigate the narrow road. Wrong-way accidents are terrifying and, as we’ll see, much more likely to result in road fatalities.
Texas leads the nation in wrong-way crashes. Last year, NBC 5 reported that there were nearly 3,500 wrong-way crashes in our state over just a four-year period. A map detailing the number and location of wrong-way accidents from TxDOT gives us insight into where these accidents frequently occur. It is probably no surprise to Dallas residents that Elm Street, Commerce Street, McKinnon Street and Oliver Street have a high number of wrong-way accidents.
Wrong-Way Accident Statistics
- On average, 360 people lose their lives every year in wrong-way collisions.
- One study found that up to 22 percent of wrong way collisions resulted in fatalities.
- Up to 60 percent of wrong-way drivers are impaired by alcohol.
- Nearly 80 percent of wrong-way accidents occur at night (between 6pm and 6am)
- Wrong-way accidents are more likely to occur on weekends.
Explaining Wrong-Way Accidents
Wrong-way accidents occur when a driver is confused about, or altogether unaware of, what type of road on to which they are turning. Keeping that in mind, it makes sense that so many of these accidents involve intoxicated drivers. But there are other possible contributing factors leading to wrong-way accidents. Since so many of these accidents occur at night, it is clear that low visibility of wrong-way signs increases risk of their occurrence.
For this reason, there has been a movement in Texas to have wrong-way signs lowered or more clearly posted in order to clearly indicate to drivers that they are entering a wrong-way street. Whether or not this will have a significant impact isn’t clear, but what is clear is that something must be done to make sure that drivers know if they are traveling in the wrong direction.
Recent Examples of Wrong-Way Accidents in the Dallas Area
In April, a wrong-way accident took two lives on State Highway 114 in Grapevine. Only a few days later, a wrong-way accident involving an 18-wheeler occurred on Interstate 35E. The driver of a passenger car was heading north on the southbound lane when he collided with the large truck between Danieldale and Wintergreen Roads. The 25-year-old man driving the car was killed on the scene. The driver of the 18-wheeler was unharmed.
Another wrong-way accident occurred in May when a 20-year-old driver hit five vehicles on the Dallas North Tollway. Two drivers were arrested for the incident on suspicion of DWI. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.
While wrong-way accidents are not the most common types of collisions, they are certainly some of the most deadly. Wrong-way accidents often involve head-on collisions and frequently occur on high-speed roads.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a wrong-way driver, you should know that the negligent driver could be held responsible for the damages they have caused you. Contact the Dallas vehicle accident attorneys at Guajardo & Marks if you’d like to learn more with a free consultation. We earn no fee unless we win.