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Why do people drive the wrong way on the interstate?

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Auto Accidents

Some wrong-way incidents have a simple explanation. For instance, maybe a person was using a GPS with outdated maps and the machine did not know that a two-way street had been turned into a one-way street five years ago. In other cases, it could just be an honest mistake due to general confusion, perhaps by a young driver without much experience.

These things do happen, and they do cause accidents. The wrong-way driver would likely be at fault, even though they may not have realized that they made a mistake initially. 

But the good thing is that many of these accidents happen at low speeds. The most dangerous wrong-way accidents are on the interstate. The whole interstate highway system is designed with ramps and street signs to prevent people from driving the wrong way. Doing so can lead to a high-speed crash that’s very likely to be deadly. So why does it keep happening?

Alcohol impairment

Generally, alcohol impairment is the root cause. Someone has too much to drink, takes the wrong ramp, and starts driving the wrong way down the interstate. They don’t even see the wrong-way signs as they go by. They may notice that traffic is moving toward them, but many of these drivers don’t even have that realization. They just hit one of the first cars they encounter, causing a severe accident.

What options are there?

This should never happen, but impaired and negligent drivers do cause these types of accidents. Those who have been seriously injured or lost loved ones may be able to seek financial compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages and much more.