Wrong way driving automobile accident kills 4

A wrong way driving automobile accident on Interstate 85 in South Carolina killed 4 people including the wrong way driver himself and also injured others. This tragic accident occurred on Interstate 85, I-85, in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The accident occurred on February 11, 2015.

A wrong way driving automobile accident is not uncommon and it is also very, very deadly.  According to NBC News, over 4000 people died from a wrong way driving automobile accident over the last decade alone. That is a staggering statistic in an area that seems so preventable and seems so rare.  Moreover, NBC News also reported that the head-on collisions involved in wrong way driving automobile accidents are deadlier: more than one in five result in a fatality, according to the NBC News report.

The cause of a wrong way driving automobile accident that first comes to mind is driver inattention. And included within that category would be driver intoxication either by alcohol or drugs. Driver fatigue could also play a role.  I would hypothesize that a lot of wrong way driving occurs in the early morning hours when traffic is either low or non-existent. Thus, a tired or intoxicated driver might not realize that he or she is in fact traveling in the wrong direction because there is a dearth of traffic on the road.

The National Transportation Safety Board has also weighed in on the issue with a report that was released in 2012.

The NTSB report, in addition to focusing on driver impairment issues, also examined whether highway signage could prevent a wrong way driving automobile accident.  And according to findings within the report, signage can help prevent wrong way driving. The NTSB found that proper highway signage such as the proper height of the sign, the illuminosity of the sign as well as the size and prominence of the sign, help deter and stop drivers from entering the highway on an exit ramp.  The NTSB report states the following: “Because the vast majority of wrong-way movements occur when a driver mistakenly enters an exit ramp, keeping drivers from entering exit ramps would prevent most wrong-way movements.”

Wrong way driving automobile accidents are a menace to drivers on the highways. Wrong way driving automobile accidents kill and injure innocent people. A wrong way driving automobile accident is a preventable accident. While drivers must use good judgment in the operation of the cars,  highway departments must also use effective signage to eliminate this deadly scourge on our nations highways.

UPDATE ON THIS CASE:  As of March 12, 2014, media outlets are reporting that the wrong way driver in this case was under the influence of alcohol.