Two people were injured recently in a wrong-way crash on a stretch of I-40 in Oklahoma City. Authorities received a call warning of a driver of a truck who was heading westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-40, according to KFOR Oklahoma. The driver of the truck sideswiped a BMW before rolling the truck into a ditch off a service road. Police say both drivers were taken to the hospital.
The wrong-way crash serves as a frightening reminder of how one driver’s negligence can have serious consequences. Only about 3 percent of accidents on highways are the result of a wrong-way crash, according to a report by the National Transportation Safety Board. However, wrong-way crashes are four times more likely to result in serious and fatal injuries.
Common Causes of Head-On Accidents
It’s hard to imagine what would cause a driver to go the wrong way on a large road such as I-40. Some of the most common causes of head-on accidents include:
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board have found that the most common cause of wrong-way vehicle crashes is alcohol impairment. In their investigation, 60 percent of drivers involved in fatal wrong-way driving accidents were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.
Unfamiliarity with Location/Ramp Confusion
Confused drivers or those unfamiliar with their location have a greater chance of using the wrong ramp to enter against the flow of traffic, which can lead to a wrong-way car crash.
Poor Signage or Road Design
Some highway designs can be confusing for drivers to navigate, again especially if they are not familiar with their location. In addition, signs that are placed in a confusing location or in an area that has poor visibility may not alert drivers properly to danger.
Any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road could lead to a serious accident. A driver who is distracted might miss an important sign and head the wrong way, or could drift into the opposite lane without realizing it. Distracted driving comes in many forms, whether it is from talking on a cellphone, texting, daydreaming, adjusting the stereo, eating and drinking, grooming, or other distractions.
The state of Oklahoma has taken specific steps to help curb some of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving, including making it illegal for drivers to text while driving. The state places even more restrictions on commercial drivers, making it illegal to make handheld calls while driving.
Contact an Oklahoma Car Accident Attorney
Have you or someone you love been injured in a wrong-way car accident? Contact the trusted Oklahoma City car accident lawyers at the Cain Law Office for help. We know that dealing with unexpected medical bills, lost income, damage to your vehicle, and other expenses after a car accident can be overwhelming.
Let us fight for the full and fair compensation you need to recover. Contact us today for your free consultation.