Fatal car accidents are a daily occurrence on U.S. roads. Head-on collisions tend to be particularly deadly – with one in five resulting in a fatality. Did you know that a growing number of these car crashes are caused by people going the wrong way on exit ramps?
4,000 annually to be exact…
What is causing these accidents in the first place and what can be done about it?
Predictably alcohol plays a major role. Intoxicated drivers cause more than 80% of these wrong-way car crashes.
Highway safety experts say that improving markings on the highway, adding red reflectors, and lowering “Wrong Way” and “Do Not Enter” signs could make a real difference in reducing this type of car accident.
Why might lowering the height of signs make a difference?
Studies have shown that drunk drivers tend to lower their heads and their eyes when intoxicated.
Are any states already taking steps to lower signs?
Yes – California, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Virginia have – and it appears to make a difference.
And the cost to taxpayers? Just $300 per sign.
Three steps you can take steps if confronted by a wrong-way driver:
- Stay right at night. The majority of wrong-way drivers think they’re in the correct lane, so they will occupy “their” right lane – the left lane for drivers going in the correct direction. Staying right at night reduces your likelihood of being in a head-on collision.
- Avoid distractions of your own and look as far as you can down the highway at night to spot approaching danger.
- Pull off onto the shoulder of the road as far as possible.
Remember – never drink and drive and always drive defensively. Never drive while distracted and always be alert to changing conditions and to others on the road. Your life and those of your family depend on it.