Few things inspire more fear in drivers than seeing headlights coming toward them in their lane of travel. In those crucial seconds as the vehicle approaches yours, you will probably spend at least one second in pure disbelief.
What happens next is crucial to whether you get out of the situation without the wrong-way vehicle crashing headlong into yours. You may think that you have no course of action, but that may not be the case. Since knowledge is power, it may help to know what you may be able to do to remain safe.
What you can do to stay alive
The National Transportation Safety Board reports that approximately 360 people lose their lives in wrong-way crashes every year. To keep from becoming part of this statistic, you may need to know the following:
- Since many of these accidents occur from midnight to 3 a.m. and the majority of them occur on weekends, it would benefit you to remain extra attentive and vigilant if you drive during these hours. Of course, the crashes can occur at any time of day on any day of the week, but knowing when the majority of them happen may help.
- Try to get the wrong-way driver to notice you. Flash your lights and honk your horn. It may be possible to grab the other driver's attention long enough to avoid disaster.
- Don't count on that happening, however. Veer to your right as quickly as you can. This may allow the other vehicle to pass by you without any contact.
- If you can't get out of the way, try to turn your vehicle sideways. You may still suffer serious injuries, but you may live to experience the pain and recover.
Of course, you will need to call 911. It doesn't matter if you wonder whether you are the 200th person to call, you may actually be the first. If you manage to get out of the wrong-way vehicle's path, you could save another life. If you are involved in a collision, emergency services may already be dispatching to the area.
If you couldn't avoid the collision
If a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction slams into yours, you may have suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one riding with you. You may be able to hold the driver responsible for the financial losses you sustained because of his or her negligence. If a Texas court rules that the other party's actions caused your injuries and the death of your loved one, it may award you monetary damages.
If you find yourself in this situation, it may help to understand your legal options and rights before moving forward with any potential litigation.