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Fatal Wrong-Way Crashes

While all car accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries, there are certain types of collisions that are notorious for being particularly dangerous. Multi-vehicle pile-ups, for instance, often result in deadly injuries. Similarly, wrong-way crashes almost always end up causing catastrophic injuries, many of which prove to be fatal. 

Just last month, there was a tragic wrong-way crash in Miami, caused by a motorist driving east in the westbound lanes of Palmetto Expressway and subsequently colliding with a sedan carrying five people, all of whom lost their lives. Nothing can truly compensate a family for this type of loss. It is, however, possible to hold reckless drivers accountable for their actions. To learn more about recovery in wrong-way crashes, reach out to a dedicated Florida wrongful death lawyer.  

Driver Error 

Wrong way crashes occur when one driver, who is traveling in the opposite direction of the legal flow of traffic, strikes another car traveling in the correct direction. These kinds of collisions can occur just about anywhere, but often take place on highways and exit ramps. Wrong-way collisions are usually the result of driver error and most can be linked to:

  • Drunk driving, with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reporting that as many as 60 percent of wrong-way collisions involve an intoxicated driver;
  • Falling asleep at the wheel, which is most likely to occur late at night or early in the morning;
  • Confused driving, which tends to affect the elderly, who often experience a decline in visual acuity and contrast sensitivity as they age, although it can also impact the abilities of any driver who is unfamiliar with the area in which he or she is traveling; and
  • Distracted driving, which can lead to a driver failing to notice the flow of traffic or one-way street signs.

While driver error is responsible for the majority of wrong-way collisions, it is not the only cause of these devastating crashes. 

Problematic Highway Design

Negligent and reckless drivers aren’t the only causes of wrong-way crashes, which are also often attributed to poor highway design, or even a lack of lighting or proper signage. Other problems that could result in a wrong-way crash include:

  • Inadequate, defective, or improperly placed traffic controls;
  • An absence of artificial lighting;
  • Poor visibility resulting from road geometrics; 
  • Worn or missing pavement markings; and
  • Signage obscured by overgrown trees or foliage. 

When these kinds of issues contribute to a wrong-way crash, the city or state agency responsible for the mistake could be held at least partially responsible for the victim’s damages. 

Contact a Florida Wrongful Death Lawyer for Help 

The injuries sustained in wrong-way accidents are often catastrophic and may even prove fatal, as it is not uncommon for these kinds of collisions to involve multiple vehicles and a variety of impacts from numerous directions. Collisions that involve head-on crashes are also more likely to result in engine fires, which can be deadly for incapacitated victims. To learn more about your recovery options following the tragic loss of a loved one in a wrong-way accident, contact the dedicated Florida wrongful death attorneys at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein by calling 305-371-2692 today.