On June 23, a wrong-way crash led to one fatality in Lafayette. The driver who perished in the accident was driving in the eastbound lane of I-10 when his car inexplicably veered left, traveling over the median and into westbound traffic. He crashed into another vehicle, leaving the occupants of that vehicle with minor injuries. It is unknown what caused the man to lose control of his vehicle.
What Are Common Causes of Wrong-Way Accidents?
The United States Department of Transportation reports that around 350 people die in the United States every year from wrong-way car accidents. This comes out to only around 3 percent of all car accidents in the United States. Despite their relative rarity, wrong-way accidents are much more likely to result in fatal and serious injuries than other types of crashes. Some studies from the NHTSA and the NTSB state that wrong-way collisions are between 12 and 27 times more likely to end in fatalities than the average car accident.
Statistics show that these accidents are most likely to occur between midnight and 3 a.m., the majority on weekends.
Drivers most often end up going the wrong way when they mistakenly enter an entrance ramp. Losing control of a vehicle on a road without barriers between opposite lanes is another common cause of these accidents, and alcohol is twice as likely to be involved in fatal wrong-way accidents compared to other crashes.