Some Causes And Statistics For Wrong-Way Wrecks

A 23-year-old woman caused an early morning head-on collision while driving the wrong way on I-95 near Miami. One of the cars caught fire and the crash injured three people. Authorities expect all three victims to survive.

Although wrong-way auto accidents are relatively rare, the consequences are often catastrophic because they involve high speeds and particularly forceful impacts. Between 2006 and 2010, 368 wrong-way crashes happened on Florida roads. Since 2005, 17 wrecks occurred in Broward County.

In the wake of this week’s most recent Miami wrong-way crash, a Florida Highway Patrol officer provided some insight on frequent causes. Unsurprisingly, the officer said that drunk driving is often involved when motorists drive the wrong way. Drunk drivers are more likely to completely miss numerous warnings and other indicators designed to keep cars out of oncoming traffic.

The officer also said that two possible causes are actually less common than people might think. Older drivers and bewildered or confused tourists do not account for many wrong-way crashes.

This week’s accident was less serious than it might have been. All three victims wore seatbelts at the time. Although an aggressive fire consumed one of the cars, both of its occupants were able to get to safety with only minor injuries. The 23-year-old driver who caused the wreck received worse injuries but was still relatively lucky.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Wrong-way crashes often alcohol-related, FHP says,” Linda Trischitta and Michael Turnbell, Oct. 4, 2012