New Report Shows Uptick in Motor Vehicle Deaths Caused By Wrong-Way Accidents

March 30, 2021

wrong-way accidents in Pittsburgh, PA

Last year, we reported on the uptick in motor vehicle fatalities across the country, despite less miles being driven due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, we’re reporting on another uptick, this time about the sharp increase in motor vehicle deaths stemming from wrong-way accidents. 

Read more: Empty Roads During the Pandemic Lead to Higher Rate of Traffic Fatalities

What Caused the Uptick? 

According to statistics provided by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the rate of traffic fatalities caused by wrong-way accidents increased from 360 a year in 2004-2009 to 430 a year in 2010-2019. Based on the foundation’s research, they cited older age, alcohol impairment and traveling alone as the catalysts for these disastrous types of accidents. 

In an effort to combat these fatalities, the AAA Foundation agreed to work with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to help encourage states across the country to expand their DUI prevention programs; such precautionary measures include mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices of those convicted for a DUI and increasing sobriety checkpoints in popular areas. 

Rob Molloy, the director of the Office of Highway Safety, said that “alcohol impairment is, by far, the single most significant factor in the majority of wrong-way driving crashes, which unfortunately has not changed since the NTSB issued its Wrong-Way Driving special investigation report in 2012.” He went on to say that the precautionary measures mentioned above – sobriety checkpoints and ignition interlock devices – will play a significant role in decreasing wrong-way accidents caused by inebriation. 

Other precautionary measures would include offering driving refresher courses to older drivers and installing additional signage signaling to drivers that they are going the wrong way. 

Pennsylvania’s Response

The Department of Transportation in Pennsylvania has spent about $1.5 million on two programs specifically designed to target wrong-way drivers. These programs included the installation of red, reflective posts at 218 different locations, specifically in Lawrence, Beaver and Allegheny counties to let drivers know they are going the wrong way. The programs also included more signage and marking roads with large arrows. 

While these measures are designed to reduce fatalities in this area, wrong-way accidents still occur. According to reports, there has been at least one serious wrong-way accident every year for the past five years, with the most recent occurring in January of 2021. 

Read more: Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?

Contact A Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer To Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Accident Case In Pennsylvania

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured because of auto accidents in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call (412) 564-4770 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.