Auto Accident Photo credit: Washington State Patrol

Auto Accident Caused By Car Going East in the Westbound Lanes

The Washington State Patrol responded to the scene of a multi-car wreck early New Year’s morning. The auto accident that took place near the C Street exit on Highway 18 involved a total of six vehicles. The driver of a maroon Subaru was heading in the wrong direction, going eastbound in the westbound lanes, when the crash occurred. One of the vehicles reportedly rolled over during the collision.

Emergency responders took a 16-year-old boy to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, and two others to local hospitals. One of the drivers suffered serious injury in the crash, although it is still unclear the full extent of all the injuries at this time. The vehicles involved were all carrying multiple passengers.

The state patrol is investigating the wrong-way driver for vehicular assault and are still unclear why he was going in the wrong direction.

In the Headlights

Having headlights coming directly at you on a dark night is probably one of the most frightening things that could ever happen to you on the road! Most highways and interstates have cement barricades and metal dividers to separate the lanes of travel, making it nearly impossible for oncoming traffic to mistakenly head in the wrong direction. Yet it occasionally does happen.

Wrong-way wrecks kill 300-400 people every year in the United States. The number is relatively low, making up about 1 percent of the total traffic-related fatalities. However, because attentive driving could prevent almost all of those deaths, it is no-less upsetting.

Head-on crashes tend to be more deadly and severe than any other crash scenario because of the speed and force involved at the time of impact.

How Do Wrong-Way Auto Accidents Happen?

Studies by the National Transportation Safety Board have characterized the leading causes of wrong-way driving collisions based on crash information gathered by state-sponsored research. They’ve found three principle factors behind what causes wrong-way collisions and they are:

  • Access. Most wrong-way situations involve a vehicle entering via an exit ramp. This can occur because of poor signage, unfamiliarity with the area, road construction, driver inebriation, or distracted driving behaviors. Most wrong-wrong crashes occur at night and involve at least one of these factors.
  • Alcohol. Alcohol impairs the judgment of 50-75% of all wrong-way drivers. A continued emphasis on stopping drunk driving will also reduce the number of wrong-way crashes and fatalities.
  • Age. Elderly drivers only make up about 3% of those involved in wrong-way incidents. At the same time, they constitute nearly 15 percent of wrong-way drivers.

As law enforcement officials respond to these studies, awareness campaigns and stricter safety measures are often enlisted. These campaigns aim to educate the public to prevent it from happening again. And despite all the countermeasures, it really comes down to each driver being aware that they are vulnerable at any given time on the road and should always drive with caution. 

Our Auto Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help You

If you or a loved one has been in an auto accident or hit by a wrong-way driver, contact Fielding Law Group today for a free legal consultation. Our team of experienced auto accident attorneys can help you recover and receive the compensation you deserve. Remember–don’t let an accident wreck YOU!