Wrong-way accidents in Houston are always severe and often result in fatalities. Innocent drivers have little time or space on the road to react when they suddenly face another vehicle racing towards them in the wrong direction. This scenario is a terrifying fear for most drivers. While these accidents don’t often occur, they almost always cause life-threatening injuries or fatalities when they do.
In the United States, wrong-way car accidents result in 300 to 400 deaths each year, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT). At just one percent, this type of collision represents a small portion of traffic-related deaths. However, because these accidents usually involve head-on or opposite direction sideswipe crashes, they are much more fatal compared to other types of crashes.
In Texas, there are about 240 wrong-way driving events each year on Texas freeways, according to Texas A&M University researchers. If you were the victim in a wrong-way accident in Houston, it’s essential to work with knowledgeable accident lawyers to hold the driver responsible for damages. At Sutliff & Stout, our wrong-way accident lawyers can help accident victims recover full and favorable compensation for their injuries and losses.
What Are Typical Causes of Wrong-Way Crashes in Houston?
In a study by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), investigators found that wrong-way accidents are rare when compared to other kinds of accidents and are usually fatal, which has remained unchanged for many years. There’s a range of reasons that a driver might take the wrong way and cause an accident.
Some of the typical causes of wrong-way accidents in Houston include:
- Drunk driving: Driving drunk or high significantly impairs a person’s ability to make rational decisions, focus, and react to changing traffic patterns. The NTSB reports that over 60 percent of wrong-way accidents are the result of driving under the influence.
- Distracted driving: Texting and driving distracted results in over 400,000 injured car accident victims per year, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Distracted driving involves not just looking down at a cell phone, but also talking on the phone, adjusting the GPS, or eating.
- Age-induced disorientation: The NTSB report showed that elderly drivers were “over-represented” in wrong-way collisions. Slow reactions, dementia, and disorientation prompted by age often contribute to wrong-way accidents.
- Reckless driving: Drivers who act recklessly behind the wheel sometimes cause wrong-way accidents by taking risks or shortcuts. These drivers should be held accountable for all damages caused by this aggressive behavior.
Wrong-way accidents in Houston often occur on the weekends, at night, and in lanes closest to the median. There is not enough data to report how many accidents are caused by driving under the influence of drugs, whether legal or illegal. Authorities, however, say that drugged driving does play a role in wrong-way accidents in Houston.
Victims of wrong-way accidents can suffer painful and life-altering injuries, including:
- Neck, back, and spine damage
- Chest and thoracic trauma
- Concussions and traumatic brain injury
- Fractured bones
- Broken facial bones
- Wrongful death
Wrong-way accident victims in Houston can seek financial compensation from the party at-fault, which might involve the other driver, insurance companies, vehicle manufacturers, government entities, and more. Injuries are often severe, so damages for wrong-way accidents tend to be substantial.
The knowledgeable Houston car accident attorneys at Sutliff & Stout can work with grieving family members to ensure justice for their loved one after a wrongful death. Our attorneys have over a decade of experience helping families through this terrible time and will aggressively pursue full and just compensation.
The NTSB report described that prevention steps must urgently be taken by state and local governments to prevent wrong-way accidents. To be successful, prevention endeavors should focus on wrong-way signage, traffic control devices, anti-drunk driving measures, interchange layout, and various ITS-based solutions.
Researchers at Texas A&M Transportation Institute note that flashing wrong-way signs implanted along U.S. 281 resulted in 38 percent less wrong way driving occurrences. Further studies have been conducted on technology that may help prevent wrong-way collisions, like installing communications radios along the roadway that alert the driver in error, drivers nearby, a local traffic management center, and law enforcement.
Wrong-way accidents are traumatic for all parties involved. No individual or family should have to go through this horrible ordeal alone. At Sutliff & Stout, our goal is to bring justice to those who have been harmed by the wrongdoing of others by seeking full compensation for their losses. We take a personal approach to learn about our clients and the details of their situation so we can advocate and fight for them to receive justice.
Sutliff & Stout wrong way accident attorneys have recovered hundreds of millions for car accident injury victims in Houston. Our lawyers are Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. To speak with an accomplished wrong way accident lawyer today, schedule a free consultation by completing an online contact form or call our office at 713-987-7111.