Wrong Way Accident in Atlanta Sends Two to the Hospital
Recently, a wrong way crash happened on Buford Highway Connector just before midnight on Saturday, May 9, according to 11 Alive News. Police report that a northbound driver entered the southbound lanes and collided with another driver head-on. It is not clear at this time whether alcohol was a factor in this horrible accident. Two people were transported to the hospital and their conditions are not known.
Police believe the wrong way driver had been involved in a similar accident, this one a hit and run, just minutes earlier. The driver involved in the earlier accident reportedly witnessed the wrong way driver go onto the Buford Connector, meaning the at-fault driver traveled for approximately two miles before hitting another vehicle.
A caller phoned 911 moments before the crash to report a pickup truck traveling the wrong way. Unfortunately, the call came too late to prevent the tragic accident. This accident marks the fourth wrong way crash in the past six months across metro Atlanta.
Preventing Wrong Way Accidents in Georgia
New technology does exist to prevent wrong way accidents. A system studied in the Houston, Texas area involves the use of sensors installed on the highway. The sensors send immediate alerts when someone drives up a ramp going the wrong way. Within seconds, police are dispatched and a warning is flashed across highway message boards. Other communities have utilized motion activated flashing lights.
Thus far, Georgia has not adopted this technology. Officials have cited, as a reason not to implement the technology, the inability to target trouble spots, as wrong way accidents have occurred on all major highways. The Georgia Department of Transportation is, however, looking into posting signs at a lower height, as several other states have done. Wrong way accidents often involve intoxicated drivers who, unlike sober and prudent drivers, do not always look up to see a sign. Lower signs could warn drivers before they enter the highway traveling in the wrong direction. Such a preventative measure is low cost and could be implemented quickly.
Many feel the state needs to take a more significant leap and approach the installation of a sensor system. Wrong way accidents are particularly dangerous because they often involve two vehicles colliding head-on while traveling at high rates of speed. Alcohol is the number one cause of wrong way accidents, with intoxicated drivers becoming confused or losing their observation powers and entering roadways in the wrong direction.
The victims of wrong way accidents should seek to hold the at-fault drivers accountable for their injuries. Since these accidents so often involve intoxication or reckless behavior, punitive damages (damages to punish) are sometimes awarded. If you are involved in such a crash, you should consult with a licensed car accident attorney, who can advise you of your rights as well as take the necessary steps to protect those rights.
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