Throughout 2014, Florida has been in the news for wrong-way driving accidents. In February, four students from the University of South Florida were killed after being hit by a wrong-way driver on I-275. Just two weeks later, a wrong-way driver died when he ran into a truck. More wrong-way driving accidents happened in August and September. And all of these collisions only took place on Tampa Bay area interstates — there were more that occurred throughout the year.
In the last seven years, state troopers have reported at least 70 different incidents of wrong-way drivers on highways in the Tampa Bay area alone, as well as 700 wrong-way incidents on local Florida streets in just 2014. There are a variety of reasons for this, including confusing interstate construction signs. However, the biggest pattern in these wrong-way accident cases seems to be drunk driving. In almost all reported wrong-way driving cases that ended with a car accident, the drivers were above the legal limit for alcohol.
People who drive drunk are enough of a danger on the road when going the correct way. They are more likely to swerve in and out of lanes, have late reaction times or simply make poor decisions. However, wrong-way driving is significantly more dangerous, as head-on collisions with other vehicles at high speeds are much more likely to lead to fatalities. In cases where wrong-way drivers meet semi trucks, they are at a huge disadvantage in terms of size and force, and are almost certain to be killed or at least seriously injured in the accident.
If you or someone you know has been in a car crash caused by a wrong-way driver, consult the dedicated Bradenton auto accident lawyers at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.