Posted on Friday, September 23rd, 2016 at 8:40 pm    

KCRA reported on a wrong-way driver accident last month in Sacramento County that took the life of the driver and a passenger. According to reports, the driver and his passenger died when their vehicle crashed into another vehicle while travelling the wrong-way on Highway 99 in Sacramento County.

The wrong-way collision happened just north of Elkhorn Boulevard in the southland lanes of Highway 99. The driver of the other vehicle was transported to UC Davis Medical Center with serious injuries. The CHP said that alcohol appears to be a factor in the wrong-way driver accident.


Wrong-Way Collisions

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), wrong-way driving is defined as “vehicular movement along a travel lane in a direction opposing the legal flow of traffic on high-speed divided highways or access ramps.” Even though wrong-way collisions account for a small number of the total traffic accidents each year, these types of collisions are much more likely to result in traumatic injuries and fatalities compared to other types of highway accidents. On average, 360 lives are lost each year in wrong-way collisions.

What Causes Wrong-Way Collisions?

By far, the most common reason for a wrong-way collision is alcohol. In over one-half of the wrong-way collisions in 2013, alcohol was a contributing factor. However, there are other common causes of wrong-way collisions. Common causes of wrong-way collisions include:

  • Unclear road signage
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of visibility — many wrong-way collisions occur at night when visibility is decreased
  • Confusion (i.e. some older drivers become confused and go the wrong way)
  • Turning the wrong direction onto a one-way road
  • Getting on the wrong freeway entrance ramp
  • Driving while distracted

What Can Be Done To Prevent Wrong-Way Collisions?

Some states are attempting to reduce the number of wrong-way collisions by installing addition signs, LED lights that flash one way, and pavement markings that trigger flashing wrong way signs. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent all wrong-way collisions. Additional signs and flashing signs may help stop some drivers; however, drunk drivers often ignore signs. Drivers who are confused or distracted may miss these signs as well.

If a driver causes an accident by driving the wrong way, that driver is responsible for any injuries caused by that accident. Damages that may be paid in a wrong-way collision include:

  • Past, present, and future lost income, including bonuses, raises, and other forms of compensation
  • Medical expenses, including future medical expenses and personal care
  • Property damage
  • Funeral expenses, including burial and cremation expenses, in the event of a death
  • Compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life, physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional stress
  • Travel expenses, medical devices, and other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
  • Ongoing physical therapy
  • Compensation for permanent disabilities, scarring, and disfigurement

The types of damages and the amount of compensation you may be entitled to depend on several factors, including the type and severity of your injuries and the facts surrounding the traffic accident. To ensure you receive a fair settlement for your traffic accident claim, you should consult with a Sacramento car accident attorney before you sign any releases or provide any statements to the other driver’s insurance company.

Call a Sacramento Car Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a wrong-way collision, our Sacramento personal injury attorneys can help. For more information, call the Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or use our online contact form to schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation and case evaluation.

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