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How to avoid a serious car wreck with a wrong-way driver in Wisconsin

Every year, according to the Federal Highway Transportation Safety Administration (FHTSA), 300 to 400 people die as a result of wrong-way crashes. This represents one percent of the total number of annual traffic-related fatalities.


Nationally, 6,667 people were killed by drivers on the wrong side of the road between 2006 and 2010, according to a National Transportation Safety Board Special Investigative Report. Of that total, 95 deaths were in Wisconsin, with 31 killed in 2010 alone.

According to the Wisconsin State Patrol, on-coming cars are difficult to see because they are so unexpected and the brain has trouble quickly processing what is happening. This vastly shortens their reaction time before a collision.


These types of crashes are usually very severe because they involve head-on or opposite direction sideswipe impact at high speeds.


Wrong-way driving facts

Research shows that most wrong-way driving accidents occur at night because of naturally limited visibility. Most involve an impaired driver under the influence, most wrong-way entrance highway crashes occur in urban area, and most fatalities result from drivers going the wrong way while attempting to enter a state highway.

Other wrong-way accident causes include the following:

· Distracted driving

· Drivers unfamiliar with the roadways in the area

· Poorly marked and lit signs

· Drowsy drivers

· Poor ramp design

· Drivers suffering from mental health issues


What to do if you see a wrong-way driver

Although reaction time is usually slowed when a driver is faced with a wrong-way driver, there are things you can do to avoid a car crash or at least limit the effect of one.

· Get to the shoulder quickly and stop

· If you can’t get to the shoulder, slow down and attempt to safely stop your vehicle

· Steer to the right of the on-coming vehicle

· Honk your horn

· Flash your lights

· Call 9-1-1

· Have your seat belts fastened

· When about to top a hill or pass a car on the left, look ahead for a wrong-way driver to make sure the lane is clear

· Stay vigilant and keep your eyes focused high, not just on the driver in front of you.

· Drive in the right lane on a highway, especially at night.

· Don’t drink and drive

· Don’t be a distracted driver


We hope this article is helpful and that it will make our website visitors more aware of the dangers of entering a state highway or any road from the wrong direction.

If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions related to personal injury law, please call us at 920-725-8464, or toll free at 1-800-529-1552. Our personal injury consultations are always free.


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