By Debbie Hersman
In just the last week, 11 people lost their lives in nine wrong-way collisions that happened in California, Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and two in North Carolina. Eight other people were seriously injured.
Wrong-way collisions are among the most lethal types of accidents on our nation’s highways because they are frequently head-on accidents with closing (combined) speeds in excess of 100 mph.
Each year, there are about 250 fatal wrong-way collisions on high-speed divided highways, such as interstates and expressways. These crashes take the lives of nearly 400 people and injure thousands more. Last year, the NTSB initiated a special study to better understand the factors that cause these tragic events.
Tomorrow, investigators will present their findings based on nine wrong-way collisions investigated by the NTSB, a comprehensive review of wrong-way driving research, and an analysis of data from thousands of these types of accidents that have occurred around the country.
With this information, we’ll be able to consider safety recommendations that, if implemented, could prevent many future such accidents. And, that’s the start of turning around this particularly dangerous hazard on America’s roadways.