Wrong-way drivers are a bigger problem than one would think. I’ve written a couple of blog posts about wrong-way drivers on the Austin Injuryboard blog, and Des Moines Personal Injury Lawyer Steve Lombardi has written extensively on his Des Moines blog with a 20 part series on the problem. But Austin has largely avoided the problem. Until now.
Last night 24 year old Alex Reyes made a horrible error, entering I-35 the wrong way just south of Austin and causing a head-on wrong-way collision. Reyes died at the scene, and the other driver was taken to the hospital by StarFlight.
At this time, it appears that alcohol did not contribute to the wreck. That’s unusual. Most wrong-way wrecks involve alcohol or elderly drivers.
These wrecks are a huge problem because of their severity. They are most often head-on collisions, and in most instances, involve fatalities. These wrecks are also a problem because they are difficult to prevent. From the driver’s perspective, most of the wrecks are caused by confusion because the driver is either drunk or under the influence of drugs or because the driver is elderly and confused. While some of these wrecks can be prevented by better road designs and some can be prevented by newer technologies, these wrecks are generally hard to prevent.
The wrecks are also hard to avoid from the victim’s perspective. The oncoming driver is obviously unexpected and there is often little time to react.
Nevertheless, there are some things that can be done. In his last post on the subject, Steve Lombardi has several tips on avoiding being a wrong-way driver and avoiding being a victim of a wrong-way driver. I recommend that everyone take three minutes to read his suggestions to help make the roads safer for all of us.
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