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Wrong-Way Crashes More Likely to be Caused by Drunk Drivers

Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

wrong-way crashesIn mid-November, a woman drove the wrong way on the Stevenson Expressway, causing a grisly head-on collision in which two women were seriously injured, according to the Chicago Tribune. The woman is facing a DUI charge in connection with the incident, as well as a charge of reckless driving. According to the Tribune, police received several calls alerting authorities to the wrong-way driver before the accident occurred. The driver was taken to an area hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the other vehicle “had to be cut from her vehicle and was taken to an area hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries,” reports the Tribune.

According to a special report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), wrong-way crashes occur relatively infrequently, and account for only roughly three percent of all accidents on divided highways. The severity of these accidents is disproportionate to other types of crashes, however. As such, wrong-way accidents are much more likely to result in serious injury or death of the people involved.  One study reported by the NTSB found that while only 0.3 percent of all highway accidents resulted in death, 22 percent of wrong-way collisions were fatal.

Like the recent crash on I-55, most drivers involved in a wrong-way collision are impaired by alcohol at the time of the incident, according to the NTSB. In a NTSB study conducted between 2004 and 2009, reports showed that of the 1,566 wrong-way drivers in the multi-year set, 936 (60 percent) showed indications of having been drinking or intoxicated at the time of crash. Nearly 60 percent of these drivers had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) at or above 0.15 at the time of crash, nearly twice the legal limit. The legal driving BAC limit in all states is 0.08.

Many different statistical compilations point to the fact that drunk drivers tend to be repeat offenders. Nine percent of wrong-way drivers in the 2004–09 study were found to have been convicted of DWI within three years prior to the wrong-way collision, according to the NTSB.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a wrong-way collision that was caused by a drunk driver, you are likely eligible for compensation. The most important step is to seek legal counsel. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Chicago accident attorney today.

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