Protecting Yourself From Wrong-Way Drivers

Protecting Yourself From Wrong-Way Drivers

Wrong-way driving is a danger no matter where you are, but Arizona has it especially bad with an increased surge of wrong-way drivers. Despite strict laws and penalties aimed at wrong-way drivers, these incidents still happen, oftentimes to devastating effect. Head-on collisions are lethal enough as is without one driver being impaired on a high-speed freeway environment, so to protect yourself from ever getting into one of these auto accidents, you should know how to respond to wrong-way drivers.

How To Protect Yourself From Wrong-Way Drivers

Protecting Yourself From Wrong-Way DriversDon’t panic. If you see a wrong-way driver yourself, they’ll often be on your side of the road, presenting an immediate threat to your safety. The other driver is very likely impaired (due to drowsiness, substance abuse, or simple inattentiveness) as wrong-way signs, road markers, and simple observation on freeways make it nearly impossible to make an “honest mistake” and drive in the wrong lane. 

You should never count on a wrong-way driver to notice you or react in time—your safety is in your hands, and yours alone. Give wrong-way drivers as wide a berth as you can. If possible, stop and pull over entirely; if you’re on the freeway or can’t safely pull over, slow down and steer away from the wrong-way driver.

How do you protect yourself from seeing wrong-way drivers in the first place? In general, the best thing to do is to make sure impaired drivers never get behind the wheel, as these very same drivers are overwhelmingly more likely to drive on the wrong side of the road. If you notice a wrong-way driver on your side of the road or anywhere else, prioritize your safety—once they don’t pose an imminent threat to your life, call 911 and report the incident. Be sure to include as many details as you can, such as the road you’re on, the direction they were driving, a description of their car, and anything you noticed about their driving (such as if they were swerving, drifting, or clearly speeding). 

How Arizona Protects You 

Fortunately, most people are alerted to wrong-way drivers well before they actually come into view. Thermal cameras have been implemented on some of Arizona’s larger freeways, including I-17, which display prominent warning messages to the entire stretch of freeway and alert police if a wrong-way driver is detected. If you see one of these messages, you likely have a little while before the driver will pose an immediate threat, so you should calmly take the first exit available, but remain vigilant just in case. More prominent signage rounds out Arizona’s efforts to stop wrong-way drivers; however, these efforts rarely stop truly reckless or impaired drivers, so accidents still happen.

Getting Compensation for Arizona Wrong-Way Accidents

Drivers rarely expect to see another vehicle hurtling towards them head-on, which, coupled with the high speeds on freeways (where wrong-way driving most frequently occurs), can make reacting to an oncoming driver extremely difficult. If you’ve been struck by a wrong-way driver in Arizona, Escamilla Law Group’s auto accident attorneys can handle your case on your behalf and secure full compensation for your financial losses, pain, and terror caused by the reckless negligence of the other driver. Contact us at (623) 321-0566 to schedule a free consultation and get started.