Head-on collisions tend to happen less often than other types of accidents. However, when these crashes occur, they are often catastrophic. People tend to die or suffer life-altering injuries that often involve lengthy hospital stays and significant recovery times. Of course, that assumes that a full recovery is possible.
Rural areas often see more head-on collisions, more than likely because there are more two-lane roads in those areas with only a solid yellow line separating the directions of travel. Keeping that in mind, the number of wrong-way crashes on freeways and interstates are on the rise. Any number of factors such as impairment, distraction or drowsiness could cause a driver to stray into oncoming traffic.
Armed with the right information, you could avoid wrong-way drivers
If you see signs saying “Do Not Enter” or “Wrong Way,” you may want to keep your eyes open for vehicles not paying attention to those signs for some reason. You also need to keep your eyes open on two-lane roads where vehicles can easily end up in your lane. Knowing what to watch for may not solve your problem, though. What should you do if you encounter a driver heading right at you?
- Slow down as quickly as possible by pressing the brake pedal or easing off the gas. Don’t slam on the brakes, though.
- Steer your vehicle to the right as far as you can.
- You may need to drive off the right side of the road, which may mean going into a ditch. However, that would be preferable to slamming head-on into another vehicle.
- Honk your horn and flash your lights at the oncoming vehicle. That may be enough to get the other driver to move the vehicle back into the appropriate lane.
Make sure that you never move to your left when attempting to avoid a wrong-way driver. That driver may realize what is happening with enough time to maneuver back into the correct lane, and if you move in that direction, you could still collide.
Of course, even if you do everything right, it may not matter. If you don’t have enough time or the other driver makes even more mistakes, you could end up the victim of a wrong-way driver. If that happens, legal action may be necessary in order to pursue the compensation you deserve.