When taking to the road in West Virginia, there are certain dangers drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians should be cognizant of. Among them are distracted drivers, drivers who are under the influence, drowsy drivers and drivers who are behaving recklessly. Any of these issues can cause car accident injuries and death. However, one problem people are unlikely to expect is a wrong-way driver. Head-on collisions are among the deadliest types of accidents and there has been a troubling rise in them across the nation. People who have been impacted are advised to think about their alternatives after such an accident.
AAA says wrong-way accidents a growing danger
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, wrong-way accidents have been steadily increasing. In the decade 2010 to 2019, there was an average of 430 such collisions annually. That was up from 360 from 2004 to 2009. By 2015 to 2018, it had grown to 500 per year. It is believed that older drivers, people who are driving alone and drivers who are under the influence are factors in the spike in these accidents.
Statistics bear this out as more than 60% of wrong-way drivers were above the legal limit of 0.08% for blood-alcohol concentration. Thirty-six percent had less than 0.01% BAC indicating that any amount of alcohol can be problematic. People 70 and older had a greater propensity to drive the wrong way on the road. A representative from AAA East Central – which covers West Virginia and the surrounding states – notes that these accidents are often fatal. AAA wants people to be more attentive to their surroundings and reduce these incidents. Strategies like better lighting, more reflective markers, clearer signals and greater vigilance about drivers who are under the influence are believed to be ways to lower the number of wrong-way accidents.
Having professional assistance can be key after an auto accident
Regardless of the way an accident happened, people can suffer long-term problems from car accident injuries. There may be major medical costs, a reduced qualify of life and extensive challenges physically, emotionally, personally and professionally. If there is a fatality, the family left behind might have trouble making ends meet and be in for a difficult time accepting the unexpected loss. While it might be difficult to think about, it is imperative to be protected. Having professional representation can assess the accident, gather evidence and help to move forward with a claim. Consulting with experienced professionals can be critical immediately after an accident.