You may have heard of never events in the medical community. These are things that should absolutely never happen, such as carrying out an operation on the wrong patient or amputating the wrong limb. They are catastrophic mistakes, and there are many checks in place to prevent them from occurring — but they still do.
In some ways, wrong-way accidents on the interstate are the same thing. They are never events, a type of car accident that shouldn’t occur. Interstates are very carefully controlled with on-ramp and off-ramp systems. There are plenty of signs telling drivers which way to go and informing them if they are traveling in the wrong direction. But these accidents, just like never events in the medical community, continue to happen. Why is this?
It’s usually because a driver is impaired
When you look at wrong-way accidents, what you’ll find is that most drivers who cause these crashes were under the influence of alcohol when they did so. The road design itself isn’t the problem. It’s just that the impairment was severe enough that all of these different checks and restrictions were not able to stop the crash.
It’s important to remember that these accidents often happen very quickly. For instance, an impaired driver could make a wrong turn and head up an off-ramp, believing it is an on-ramp, and get into an accident within the first hundred yards in heavy traffic. It’s not as if they are driving for miles in the wrong direction. But a driver who is severely impaired may have no memory of making these mistakes and not even realize what they’re doing at the time.
Those who have been involved in wrong-way accidents may have suffered severe injuries or lost loved ones. When someone else’s negligence caused that crash, they need to know how to seek compensation.