Wrong-way driving accidents are fairly rare—but they’re some of the deadliest crashes you can experience. Wrong-way drivers are a leading cause of head-on collisions, which accounted for 10.5% of fatal crashes in the US between 2019 and 2020. This is despite the fact that head-on collisions were less than 1% of all motor vehicle collisions in the same time frame, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In Louisiana, there were 135 fatal head-on collisions between 2019 and 2020, the majority of which were caused by distracted drivers, drivers older than 65, and drowsy drivers. Another major contributing factor to wrong-way driving accidents, especially in Louisiana, is drunk driving.
If you or a loved one has been hit by a driver going the wrong way, you’re probably experiencing pain, destroyed property, and possibly an inability to work. You could even be mourning the loss of your loved one after they were killed by a wrong-way driver.
Either way, you deserve answers for your pain and suffering. Contact the head-on collision injury lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys for a free consultation as to your legal options today.
Causes of Louisiana Head-on Collisions
Between 2019–2020, distracted drivers accounted for 36, or 26.7% of head-on collision deaths. Distracted driving has always been a risk, but after the advent of smartphones it’s become much more of an issue on the road. Any of the following behaviors can distract a driver from the vital task of driving safely:
- Texting, browsing social media, or otherwise using a cell phone
- Talking on the phone
- Adjusting the radio or sound system
- Applying makeup, combing hair, shaving, or otherwise grooming
As we get older, we lose acuity in our senses such as sight and hearing, and we tend to lose mental sharpness as well. After the age of 65, many of these effects become more pronounced, and can increase the risk of drifting onto the wrong side of the road.
Drivers over 65 can also become confused more easily and turn into oncoming traffic, or turn the wrong way down a one-way street. If they do make a mistake, older drivers tend to take longer to correct it, which can lead to a higher risk of head-on collisions. In fact, from 2019 and 2020 older drivers were involved in 27 fatal motor vehicle crashes, or 20% of the total.
Statistically, wrong-way accidents are most likely to happen at night, when visibility is lower and drivers tend to be drowsier. Driving while drowsy, tired, or fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving drunk!
Drowsy drivers have much lower response times, become distracted more easily, and in the worst cases, can even fall asleep at the wheel. If you’re feeling drowsy or tired while driving, pull over as soon as possible to either the shoulder or a rest area and take a break. It could save your life.
Drunk drivers put everyone on the road at risk. They are much more likely to drift into lanes of oncoming traffic, be slow to recognize their mistake, and possibly over-correct and cause multiple accidents. Drunk drivers are also more likely to drive aggressively, speeding or weaving in and out of lanes.
The legal blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Louisiana is 0.08%, which is about one drink per hour. Don’t drink and drive—and if you’ve been hit by a drunk driver going the wrong way, call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys.
Injuries Resulting from Louisiana Wrong-way Crashes
If you’ve been hit by a wrong-way driver, you could be experiencing one or more of the following serious injuries:
- Neck injuries, which are the most common of all car wreck injuries
- Abdominal injuries, such as injuries to the spleen, liver, diaphragm, or kidneys
- Spinal cord injuries, including nerve damage, herniated disks, and paralysis
- Traumatic head injuries that can affect you for the rest of your life
- Broken bones
Any of these injuries could leave you unable to work, in excruciating pain, and with mounting medical bills. Luckily, Louisiana law allows you to seek compensation for your injuries and their costs from the person responsible for your crash.
How to Get the Compensation You Need to Heal from a Wrong-way Accident
The experienced car crash lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys have 679+ years of combined legal experience helping Louisiana victims of wrong-way car crash injuries, and we can help you too. Give us a call at 888.501.7888 for a free legal consultation.