Two people are dead, two injured children are orphaned, and one person faces a decade of probation following a head-on, wrong-way car accident in Midland.
The crash, which involved an intoxicated driver heading west in the eastbound lanes of a highway, has affected countless lives and robbed two little girls of their parents. How can we help prevent wrong-way accidents in Texas?
- Call 911 if you see a wrong-way driver. A wrong-way driver is absolutely an emergency and should be reported to police as quickly as possible. If have a passenger in the car call, have them make the call or pull over somewhere safe.
- Never, ever drink and drive. This is common sense – and it’s an idea that is often beaten over drivers’ heads. But a significant number of fatal car accidents involved alcohol, and more wrong-way driving accidents are caused by alcohol and drugs than any other factor. Remember: drinking and driving doesn’t just hurt you, it can kill others.
- Report dangerous or confusing on-ramps and intersections. If there is a lack of signage or a poor road/ramp design near your home, report it to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). If you are confused by a roadway, chances are that others are as well—especially those who don’t live in the area.
While everyone with a license can take steps to prevent wrong-way driving, there are also actions that the state of Texas can take to stop these accidents or reduce their prevalence. Let’s take a closer look:
- Identify confusing points of entry. When wrong-way car accidents occur due to confused drivers, a confusing intersection, or badly signed off-ramp, the driver could be partially to blame. But if these accidents happen at the same spots repeatedly, the road designer could be at fault. TxDOT could use accident data to indetify these problem areas and enact additional safety measures.
- Better drunk driving laws and enforcement. As we mentioned before, the majority of wrong-way driving accidents take place because of drunk drivers – those who are so intoxicated that they don’t realize they are on the wrong side of the highway or interstate. Preventing these drivers from ever getting behind the wheel is key to preventing fatal wrong-way crashes.
- More frequent evaluation for older drivers. Some believe that many wrong way accidents could be prevented through more thorough evaluation of aging drivers – another frequent cause of wrong-way crashes. Drivers with vision issues and mental issues like dementia are much more likely to cause these types of car accidents than others.
- Emergency radio announcements. Some safety advocates believe that alerting drivers to a wrong-way driver at the time of the incident through an emergency radio interruption could save lives. In some cases, police are notified of a wrong-way driver but do not get to the scene in time to prevent a deadly accident.
- More research. Perhaps the best way to prevent future wrong way crashes is to better understand why they take place in the first place. Further study of these crashes could shed light on the best solutions, and we applaud (like NBCDFW) those who push for such measures.
Because wrong-way drivers usually cause head-on accidents, the collisions often result in fatalities and serious injuries. If you have been involved in a Texas wrong-way car crash, it is important to speak with an accident attorney about your case as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance at a successful injury claim. Call us today at 1-877-405-4313 for a free consultation.