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Common Causes of Wrong-Way Crashes

Posted by Russell West | Dec 14, 2022 | 0 Comments

A man was driving a 4Runner east on Rd. 5 Northwest recently when an accident occurred involving a ProStar Commercial vehicle pulling a trailer. Close to the intersection of White Trail Road, the 4Runner crossed the line of traffic, the other driver did not have adequate time to swerve, and the two vehicles collided. 

The 4Runner's driver was killed, while the other driver avoided injury. The exact reason why the 4Runner crossed into the opposing lane of traffic remains uncertain. It is not clear if alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident.

Motorists in Washington rely on one another to follow road regulations to avoid getting injured. Drivers rely on others to operate vehicles while calm and assume that all motorists are sufficiently trained and familiar with the road. One wrong turn can end up causing devastating injuries.

Wrong-Way Crashes

Wrong-way accidents happen when a motorist steers a vehicle into the wrong lane and collides with a car headed in the appropriate direction. Wrong-way crashes most commonly occur when a motorist enters a freeway using an exit ramp. These accidents can also happen at low speeds on urban streets. Errors made by motorists are the most common causes of these accidents. Other common causes of wrong-way crashes include the following:

  • A large number of wrong-way accidents involve drunk drivers. Many times, drunk motorists have a substantially elevated blood alcohol level.
  • Elderly motorists are known to cause wrong-way accidents. This might be a result of not recognizing the danger caused by health issues or physical limitations that prevent them from seeing and understanding road signs.
  • Motorists who are not paying attention to the road end up in wrong-way accidents.
  • When motorists are not familiar with the area, they cause wrong-way crashes.
  • Traffic detours can confuse motorists who end up driving the wrong way.
  • Issues with the road, including design defects, are known to disorient motorists and cause them to travel the wrong way.
  • An absence of warning signs can cause motorists to enter streets the wrong way. 
  • Defective auto equipment can cause motorists to enter traffic in the wrong direction.

Injuries Commonly Incurred in Wrong-Way Accidents

Wrong-way crashes are more likely to have deadly ramifications than other types of car crashes. Fatalities are reported in 20% of wrong-way crashes. When two vehicles are headed toward one another at high speeds, the resulting impact involves extreme force. Some of the most common injuries associated with wrong-way crashes include the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries

Contact a Skilled Accident Lawyer

Accidents in Spokane can leave people facing serious complications. If you or your loved one has been involved in an accident, you should not hesitate to speak with a skilled lawyer. Schedule a free case evaluation with West Law Office today.

About the Author

Russell West

Russell West from West Law Office, located in Spokane, Washington represents clients in areas of criminal traffic, misdemeanors, and personal injury. DUI’s, Reckless Driving, Negligent driving, Hit and Run, and Driving with Suspended license are the majority of criminal traffic violations. Drug Charges, Theft, and Domestic Violence account for most of the other criminal cases Russell handles.


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West Law Office - Russell West Attorney

Spokane Attorney Russell West practice areas include: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Motorcycle Accidents, Slip and Falls, DUIs, DOL Hearings, Criminal Traffic, Expungement/Vacating Records, and Insurance Bad Faith

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