Wrong-way drivers are arguably the most dangerous motorists on the roadways. Whether due to intoxication or distraction, these drivers often don’t even realize that they are driving against traffic. This means that they usually don’t slow down and don’t attempt to take corrective action prior to a collision. As a result, car accidents involving wrong-way drivers often occur at high rates of speed, which, in turn, can leave devastation in their wake.
Perhaps the scariest part of wrong-way driving is how common it is. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, 101 motorists have been arrested so far this year for driving the wrong way while intoxicated. This number, although shockingly high, does not account for all wrong-way drivers, but is rather an accounting of those who were under the influence when they were caught driving the wrong way. Worse yet is the fact that 42 wrong-way accidents have occurred so far this year in our state, with a total of 17 people dying as a result.
One recent arrest here in the Phoenix area shows just how reckless these motorists can be. There, a man was arrested after he drove the wrong way on I-17 for 37 miles. It was only after spike strips were used that the police were able to apprehend him. Given the distance he drove, it’s fortunate that no accident occurred.
Others throughout Arizona aren’t so lucky, though. Victims of wrong-way accidents can be left with catastrophic injuries, including permanent disability on account of brain and spinal cord injuries. Those victims who are struggling to get by in the aftermath of one of these wrecks should consider their legal options. Acting on them may lead to the recovery of compensation and the imposition of accountability.