It’s hard to comprehend how a driver could get on a busy expressway and drive the wrong way for any period of time, but it happens. It happens far too often and while some measures to alert other drivers have been put in place, it’s prudent to understand what you can do to reduce your chances of being involved in a wrong-way accident.
Wrong-way crashes tend to be especially violent and cause very serious and often deadly injuries.
Warning devices — flashing beacons, solar-powered warning signs and vehicle-detection equipment — were installed on 10 ramps on the turnpike’s Homestead Extension between Miramar and Doral and on five ramps on the Sawgrass Expressway in Broward. If a motorist goes the wrong way or enters the roadway using an exit ramp and misses the flashing signs, a camera will send a picture of the vehicle to the FHP’s command center and to the Turnpike’s traffic management center in Pompano Beach. Traffic managers can then program overhead signs on the highway to alert motorists that a wrong-way driver is in the area. Officials estimate that in the first year of operation, 14 wrong-way crashes were prevented by the warning system.
How can you reduce the chance of being involved in a wrong-way crash?
The Florida Highway Patrol recommends drivers stay to the right when driving on a highway at night. Wrong-way drivers will likely think they should stay to the right, which for right-way drivers is the left. Stay alert, never text while driving, and if you see someone going the wrong way you should call 911 immediately. Also, if someone is coming at you from the wrong way, slow down carefully, and move to avoid the car while being careful not to hit cars beside you.
If you ever become distracted for some reason and miss a red “WRONG WAY” sign yourself, stop and move off the roadway carefully. Do not try to move forward to find an exit. Call FHP for assistance.
Obviously, many wrong-way drivers are impaired and you may think there is not much you can do about that. But every responsible citizen needs to make a commitment not to tolerate drunk driving. Insist friends leave their keys and call a taxi cab if they have been drinking. If you serve alcohol to someone visiting your home make sure they have a ride.
The Law Form of Lazarus and Lazarus has handled many serious crashes involving wrong-way drivers who crashed into oncoming traffic. We work hard for every client to make sure their medical and other needs are met and that they receive the maximum compensation for pain and suffering allowed by law. Call us at 954-356-0006 if you have any questions.