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Official investigation of increase in head-on collision rate

State officials in Ohio are searching to find the cause and a solution to the increasing frequency of deadly wrong-way car accident cases in Franklin County and elsewhere. Accidents that begin with one vehicle traveling in the wrong direction on divided highways have proven to be 100 times more deadly than other types of collisions.

As state officials are discovering, preventing highway accidents is not an easy undertaking. Someone injured by a driver in a head-on collision should speak to an attorney about compensation that might be available from a negligent driver who caused the car accident to occur.

Speculation about wrong-way accidents has focused on three possible causes for the increase in the number and severity of reported accidents:

  • Drunk driving
  • Lane changes caused by highway construction
  • Driver confusion

Construction sites appear to pose an increased risk of drivers heading in the wrong direction. Officials believe that changes to the normal traffic pattern in construction zones increases the potential for drivers to become confused and disoriented. A drunk driving accident involving a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction probably also begins with the driver becoming confused by road signage or traffic patterns when entering divided highways.

Solutions proposed by officials include placing sensors along highways to detect vehicles going against the flow of traffic. The sensor system would alert officials, but it still leaves open the question of how to stop vehicles that are going the wrong way.

When alerted of a vehicle going in the wrong direction, police usually slow or stop other vehicular traffic to reduce the chances of a head-on collision or, if a collision cannot be avoided, to lessen its severity. Other methods of stopping wrong-way vehicles include devices that are placed on roadways to flatten the tires of vehicles going in the wrong direction.

Source: Springfield News-Sun, "Wrong-way crashes often deadly, hard to prevent," Katie Wedell, April 25, 2015

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