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TEXAS SUFFERS FROM HIGHEST RATE OF WRONG-WAY ACCIDENTS

By Luke Dow on October 05, 2015

Texas has the highest rate of wrong-way crashes in the nation, with Austin being particularly notorious for wrong-way drivers.

Recent Wrong-Way Accident In Austin Not Unusual, Safety Experts Say

Early last month a drunk driver going the wrong way on Sixth Street in Austin struck a police car before going on to crash into another vehicle, injuring that car's occupant, according to KXAN News. Unfortunately, such stories are not as rare as they should be, with statistics showing that Texas is currently the national leader in wrong-way crashes. Furthermore, the majority of wrong-way accidents in Central Texas happen in downtown Austin, with many of them caused by drunk drivers. Experts say the problem has claimed hundreds of lives over the years and that government authorities need to do more to address the issue.

Lives Lost In Wrong-Way Crashes

According to a report by KVUE News, Texas suffers from more crashes caused by wrong-way drivers than any other state in the country. On average, there are over two wrong-way accidents in Texas everyday. Additionally, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) says that over a four-year period it recorded 3,300 accidents in the state caused by drivers going the wrong way. Those accidents took the lives of 271 people in total.

The danger is particularly bad in Austin, where most of Central Texas' wrong-way crashes occur, especially on the high number of one-way streets downtown. Aside from downtown, other areas in Austin at a high risk for wrong-way drivers are Highway 71, Highway 183, and Interstate 35. Perhaps not surprisingly, TxDOT says alcohol is a factor in most such crashes.

Dealing With The Problem

Safety experts say that given the extent of the problem, TxDOT needs to do more to prevent wrong-way drivers. For example, back in 2003 the Texas Transportation Institute recommended lowering "Wrong Way" and "Do Not Enter" signs to increase their visibility. While TxDOT is exploring the proposal, they say they first want to make sure it doesn't lead to unintended consequences, such as lower signs going through windshields.

Another proposal is to expand a pilot project that has had some success in San Antonio. The pilot project saw the city install flashing warning lights on dozens of wrong-way signs and use electronic message boards to warn about wrong-way drivers that have been reported to the police. The pilot project has been credited with reducing wrong-way accidents by 30 percent in San Antonio.

Car Accidents

Accidents, such as wrong-way crashes, that are caused by another driver's negligence or recklessness can ultimately lead severe pain and injuries for innocent victims. Those who have been hurt by a potentially negligent driver should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. An experienced attorney can help hold negligent drivers accountable and assist accident victims in recovering compensation to help cover the costly expenses that often arise following an accident.

Keywords: car, auto, accident, injury

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