According to reports, state officials are testing a pilot program in Southern Nevada that is aimed at reducing the number of wrong-way crashes on the state’s highways. The announcement of the new program came while Nevada Highway Patrol were investigating a deadly wrong-way crash in Washoe Valley.
Sadly, this is not the first wrong-way crash police have investigated recently. According to Meg Ragonese of the Nevada Department of Transportation, the agency is planning on altering the signage for the state freeway on-ramps. The alterations will include lowering the signs for better visibility. They will also be adding radar detection. When a driver enters the ramp going the wrong direction, the detector will activate a warning light on the sign to grab the driver’s attention. The device will also notify law enforcement. Reports show that this pilot program will begin within the next year.
High Risks in Wrong-Way Crashes
According to statistics, nearly 4,000 individuals were killed in wrong-way traffic accidents over the last decade. This has led experts to conclude that changes need to be made to freeway ramps to better alert wrong-way drivers. Though some states are beginning to enforce these safety measures, many states are not. Wrong-way crashes continue to occur, often resulting in fatalities.
The National Transportation Safety Board has compiled data about wrong-way accidents which shows that most wrong-way movements occur when a vehicle enters an exit ramp. The data also reveals that wrong-way collisions are more likely to occur at night, with 78 percent of wrong-way crashes occurring between 6 pm and 6 am. This can be attributed to multiple factors including tired drivers, intoxicated drivers and a general lack of visibility.
The NTSB also found that most wrong-way collisions occur in the “fast” lane. This is the lane closest to the median where drivers typically go faster than the right lane. Statistics show that seven out of nine wrong-way collisions occur in this lane. Experts conclude that those who do not know they are going the wrong way believe that are in the right “slow” lane.
Wrong-Way Drivers and Alcohol
Research also revealed that the majority of wrong way drivers are intoxicated at the time of the accident. In fact, the NTSB found that as many as three-quarters of wrong-way accidents are the caused by drunk drivers. Sadly, in the majority of these cases the driver’s blood alcohol level is at or above .15 percent. That is almost twice the legal limit.
If you have the misfortune of being injured by a drunk, wrong-way driver, it is important that you act quickly and call the team at Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas. We can help you seek compensation for your damages through experienced and aggressive legal representation.