California residents may benefit from learning more about the facts related to wrong-way collisions, as described by the National Transportation Safety Board. Some of the worst crashes in the country involve vehicles traveling the wrong way on roads designed for high speeds. The safety issues associated with these types of accidents include driver impairment, a lack of traffic control systems, drivers' in-vehicle support systems and wrong-way monitoring or intervention programs.
The NTSB investigation focused exclusively on wrong-way collisions that occurred on high-speed divided highways and entrance or exit ramps. The agency took a particular interest in these types of accidents due to the severity of the outcome and ensuing damages. These crashes have a higher propensity for fatalities and severe injuries, but they only account for around 3 percent of all highway accidents. Researchers found that more than 80 percent of these wrong-way accidents are head-on collisions. According to a study conducted by state departments in Virginia, the fatality rate of these wrong-way accidents is 27 times higher than any other crashes.
California's Department of Transportation concluded the fatality rate for these high-speed, wrong-way crashes is about 12 times higher than other accidents on the highway. Researchers in Michigan found that 22 percent of these wrong-way crashes ended in a fatality, while the fatality rate in the average highway crash during the same period of time was around 0.3 percent. The NTSB has been performing large-scale investigations since 1968, and has issued several updated reports to a number of agencies and municipalities involved with upholding transportation regulations.
A person who has been injured by a motorist driving the wrong way on the road may benefit from obtaining the assistance of counsel in filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. Compensation that is often sought can include medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.