Woman Attempting Suicide Causes Wrong Way Accident on Ga. 400
Last month a woman entered the southbound lanes of Georgia 400 traveling in the wrong direction, according to 11 Alive News. Witnesses report that the female driver struck a wall and spun out onto traffic traveling southbound, causing a major accident. At least four individuals, including the wrong way driver, were transported to area hospitals for treatment of their injuries. It was at the hospital that the wrong way driver admitted to causing the accident on purpose in an effort to commit suicide. The driver has been cited with reckless driving and driving on the wrong side of the road.
Southbound lanes remained shut for several hours following the accident and it took hours for traffic to begin flowing normally again. The horrific accident frightened many who were forced to watch with horror as a vehicle traveled towards them.
An In-Depth Look at Wrong Way Accidents
According to the National Transportation Safety Board or NTSB (link downloads PDF report), wrong way accidents occur relatively infrequently, accounting for less than three percent of all accidents, but are far more likely to result in fatal or serious injuries than any other type of highway accident. The severity of most wrong way accidents stems from their head-on nature.
Studies demonstrate that the fatality rate for wrong way accidents is 27 times greater than that of other accidents. The NTSB examined wrong way crashes between the years 2004 and 2009 to reach some alarming conclusions about these accidents. The report found that on average, about 360 people die each year in wrong way crashes. About 60 percent of all wrong way accidents involved the use of alcohol. This figure is far higher than the rate of alcohol involvement in the average, "right way" accident, which generally involves alcohol in just 6.5 percent of all accidents. Nine percent of wrong way drivers have recent past convictions for driving while intoxicated or impaired.
The majority of wrong way drivers were between the ages of 20 and 50, but the incidence of wrong way driving seems to spike in drivers over the age of 70, climbing significantly in drivers over the age of 80. Younger wrong way drivers are more likely to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Most wrong way accidents, about 78 percent, occur between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Over half additionally occur on the weekends, and most wrong way accidents take place in the first lane, also referred to as the "fast" or "passing" lane.
Wrong way accidents will often involve negligence on the part of the wrong way driver. As such, accident victims should be entitled to receive compensation for their injuries stemming from such an accident.
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