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How can you guard against a wrong-way driver?

What could be more heart-stopping than to realize that the headlights you see ahead of you on the road at night are actually in your lane and coming toward you? That's the reality you can experience when you encounter a wrong-way driver.

Wrong-way accidents commonly occur on highways after a driver mistakenly gets turned around and either crosses the median or somehow confuses an off-ramp for an on-ramp. Because they usually involve head-on collisions at a high rate of speed, they can be among the deadliest of roadway accidents someone can have.

What causes wrong-way accidents?

Sometimes a driver is just confused. Older drivers may have vision or cognitive difficulties that make it harder for them to see at night. Younger drivers may just panic and take a wrong turn. Many wrong-way drivers are intoxicated and have no idea they're not in their lane.

How can you avoid falling victim to a wrong-way driver?

You can't control other drivers, but you can anticipate problems and take steps to avoid them. With that in mind, here are some tips you can use:

  • Avoid driving late at night or in the early hours whenever possible.
  • Avoid driving on weekends when you can. People tend to imbibe more on the weekends, which makes wrong-way drivers more common.
  • Stay focused. When you spot a wrong-way driver early, you have more time to take evasive action.
  • Stay to the right. Wrong-way drivers are usually in the left lane. If you see a wrong-way driver headed your way, pull as far to the right as possible to get out of their way.

Being involved in a serious crash with a wrong-way driver can dramatically affect your life for a long time. If this happens to you, make sure that you find out more about your right to compensation for your injuries and losses.

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