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Wrong-way crashes: causes and consequences

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2019 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

If you drive about three hours north of Homerville, you will come to Bibb County. About a 100-mile stretch of that drive will be on Interstate 75, the roadway on which there was recently a head-on crash that left one man dead and another hospitalized.

The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office said the crash happened just past 11 p.m. when a 57-year-old man drove the wrong way on the I-75N and slammed into another vehicle head-on.

According to a news report, both vehicles then burst into flames. The 57-year-old Fort Valley man died in the violent collision.

A county spokesperson said a 20-year-old woman who witnessed the crash stopped and pulled the drivers from their burning vehicles. The driver of the other vehicle was listed in stable condition at a nearby hospital. No other information about the driver was released.

The 20-year-old who stopped to help was being treated for smoke inhalation.

There was no information in a news report on the crash about why the 57-year-old was going in the wrong direction, but we know that in many similar cases investigators have found that these crashes tend to be caused by one or more of the following:

  • Drunk or drugged driving (about 60 percent of wrong-way accidents involve alcohol)
  • Drowsy or fatigued driving
  • Distractions
  • Poor visibility often due to darkness or weather (78 percent of fatal wrong-way crashes occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.)
  • Diminished driving skills due to age (drivers over age 70 account for about 15 percent of wrong-way collisions)

The National Transportation Safety Board says wrong-way crashes tend to be:

  • Much more likely than typical collisions to result in fatalities or severe injuries
  • Wrong-wrong crashes have a fatality rate approximately 12 times the average
  • More than 80 percent of these crashes are at very high impact rates

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a motor vehicle crash, contact an attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.