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Wrong Way Car Accidents on the Rise in Connecticut

Oct 4, 2022

You do not need to look far to get a sense of how prevalent wrong way collisions have become. However, if you are a Glastonbury, Hartford, or Simsbury, CT resident, you may have heard some troubling news about those accidents lately.

Unfortunately, 2022 has been an especially deadly year for wrong way car accidents in Connecticut. Per a June 2022 report, the number of people who died in wrong way car accidents in Connecticut this year is already at seventeen.

We need to provide more context to spell out how troublesome that number is. Seventeen deaths are already similar to the total number of people who died in 2019. The number is also higher than the total number of wrong way accident fatalities tallied in either 2020 or 2021.

Eric Jackson, the executive director of the Connecticut Transportation Institute at the University of Connecticut, also told CT Insider that the state averages eleven deaths from wrong way collisions annually. More people are dying from these accidents, and Connecticut residents must be aware of that. Residents must recognize that danger better so they can protect themselves more effectively. Contact a car crash attorney immediately if you or someone you know was involved in that type of accident.
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Why Are Wrong Way Car Accidents So Deadly?

Compare the fatality rates for wrong way car accidents and typical crashes, and you will see that the former leads to deaths more often. But why is that? Why do these accidents tend to be more fatal than typical crashes? Certain factors have helped establish that trend. Let’s examine those factors in greater detail in this section.

Wrong Way Accidents Are Usually Head-On Collisions

Perhaps the number one reason wrong way crashes tend to be fatal is that they are often head-on collisions. Those crashes are deadly because they do not give the parties involved time to react. By the time you recognize that a car is about to crash into your vehicle, it may already be too late for you to do anything. Even veering out of the way may not be possible.

On top of that, head-on collisions often lead to drivers absorbing the crash’s impact directly—your odds of survival decrease when you become exposed to the crash’s impact.

Wrong Way Car Accidents Often Involve Older Drivers

Studies have found that older drivers are over-represented in wrong way car crashes. More specifically, a disproportionate number of drivers over the age of seventy tend to be involved in the accidents. The deterioration of certain physical capabilities may put senior drivers at greater risk. Furthermore, their chances of dying elevate because they are less likely to survive major injuries or complications.

Wrong Way Car Accidents Tend to Be High-Speed Crashes

One more reason wrong way collisions often end up with someone dying is that they tend to occur at high speeds. High-speed crashes are already deadly, to begin with. When you combine those speeds with other factors, it is no surprise that they are so deadly.

We have heard more about those wrong way crashes in recent years. It is important to learn more about them so you can avoid getting involved in one yourself. Continue with this article to learn the statistics concerning wrong way car crashes as well as the reasons they occur. Before the end, we will also give you some tips for handling those incidents, including working with a car accident lawyer.

Wrong Way Car Accident Statistics

You never want to see car accident numbers on the rise. However, those rising numbers hint at serious problems and could be potentially disastrous for the concerned parties. Sadly, we already see that with the wrong way crash data.

According to the latest numbers provided by the American Automobile Association, fatalities stemming from wrong way crashes have spiked in recent years. More specifically, more people are dying from collisions on divided highways. AAA notes that 2,008 people died due to their involvement in wrong way car accidents from 2015 to 2018. That means an average of 502 wrong way crash fatalities were recorded annually over that stretch.

Those numbers are already troubling but become even more concerning when you put them into context. For example, from 2010 to 2014, the average number of annual fatalities was around 375.

It is clear that the numbers are telling a story and the tale they are weaving is grim. We must be more vigilant when it comes to wrong way crashes. If you ever find yourself involved in one, you should also remember to enlist the help of a personal injury lawyers. Seek their assistance so you can receive proper compensation for that accident.

What Are the Common Causes of Wrong Way Car Accidents?

Are you planning to pursue compensation following your involvement in a car accident? If so, you and your car accident attorney must identify the cause of the crash. Doing so will be critical if you intend to hold the negligent driver accountable. Detailed in this section are some of the common reasons these accidents take place.

Drunk Driving: Driving under the influence is never a good idea because it becomes too easy for you to lose the sense of where you are and what you are doing. One moment, you may be cruising down a relatively open stretch of road. By the time you momentarily regain your senses, you may be staring at another vehicle heading straight for you.

Drunk drivers are known for causing all kinds of car accidents. So it should not come as any sort of surprise that they also contribute significantly to wrong way crashes.
The previously highlighted AAA report notes that six out of ten collisions involve drunk drivers. That is simply unacceptable. Do not go close to your driver’s seat following a night of drinking. Instead, have a friend drive you home, flag down a taxi, or book a ride using a ridesharing app instead of driving home while drunk.

Lack of Familiarity with the Area: Driving the wrong way is not always a result of negligence. Sometimes, it may also be a mistake made out of ignorance. If you are driving to an area you have never been to before, it is not a bad idea to look it up first. That way, you can avoid making turns that put you in the wrong lane and other similar mistakes.

Whether or not you were driving the wrong way intentionally may not absolve you of any guilt for causing the accident. You may still need to pay compensation for the harm you caused. Avoid placing yourself in that situation by carefully driving and studying your routes.

Vehicle Malfunction: You are more likely to be involved in a wrong way crash if you have an older vehicle. That is because older vehicles are more prone to malfunctioning at inopportune times.
Something may go wrong to force you to move in the wrong direction. Stopping immediately may also not be an option, given the problems plaguing your vehicle.

Having an older car does not automatically mean you will be involved in a wrong way car accident. That said, you should be more vigilant in maintenance to avoid inconvenient issues that could cause serious accidents.

What Can a Car Crash Lawyer Do for You?

Handling the aftermath of a car crash will not be easy. To make that task more manageable, you should partner with lawyers. Highlighted in the bullet points below are some of the key services that a lawyer can provide if you were recently involved in a car accident.

  • Investigate the Accident
  • Gather Evidence Proving Your Innocence
  • Give You Time to Recover from Your Injuries
  • File Your Lawsuit on Time
  • Speak to Your Insurer
  • Calculate Damages
  • Negotiate with the Party Responsible for the Accident
  • Represent You in Court

All car accident victims can benefit from those services. Seek help from a lawyer immediately so you can increase your odds of securing compensation in your personal injury case.

What to Do if You Are in a Wrong Way Car Accident

Car accident cases are rarely ever simple affairs. Even if you bear no responsibility for what happened, that does not automatically mean you will receive compensation.
To increase your chances of receiving compensation following your car accident, you should remember to follow the steps detailed below.

Check Yourself for Injuries: Given how bad wrong way car accidents usually are, you will likely end up with some injuries. Check yourself for any injuries and do the same for passengers in your vehicle.

Call 911: Now that you have a better idea of how everyone is doing inside your vehicle, you need to call 911. Tell the dispatcher to send an ambulance so anyone injured can receive medical attention. Calling 911 is still necessary even if you somehow only end up with minor injuries. After all, you will still need police officers at the scene to sort things out.

Talk to the Other Driver: After calling 911, you can leave your vehicle and speak to the other driver involved in the accident if you can physically do so. Check on them and see if they are injured. If they look to be in relatively good condition, you can speak to them and ask for their information.

Specifically, you want to ask for their name, contact details, insurance information, and registration. If you decide to pursue compensation later, you will need those details.

Collect Evidence at the Scene of the Accident: The site of the accident should yield some crucial pieces of evidence. Get a hold of any available by taking pictures and recording videos of the accident site. This is especially important in a wrong way crash because the positioning of the cars can convey an important story.

You should also speak to nearby witnesses and record their accounts of what happened. Before you let go of the witnesses, remember to ask for their names and contact details so you can get in touch with them later.

Speak to the Police Officers: Approach the police as soon as they reach the scene of the accident. Start talking about the accident and mention what you can recall. You can also hand over the pieces of evidence you have to the police so they can preserve them properly.

Like the witnesses, do not forget to ask for the police officers’ names and contact details because you will need to speak to them again.

Visit a Doctor: Leaving the accident site should be okay if you have already talked to the police officers and gathered all the bits of information you can. At this point, you should now head to the doctor. Undergo an examination and find out if you have any injuries.

Hire a Car Accident Attorney: Last but not least, you must hire a car accident attorney. We already talked about the different ways an attorney can help if you are pursuing a personal injury. Make sure you take full advantage of their services.

Car Accident Lawyers in Connecticut

Help is available for all wrong way car accident victims. We at Hassett & George, P.C. are ready to spring into action if you need legal assistance in your case. Contact us today and let us help you manage that troublesome ordeal.