Wrong-Way Driving Accidents

November 30th, 2016 by Attorney Julie Butcher

It’s relatively rare that a vehicle accident is caused by someone driving the wrong way on a Kentucky road, but when these types of incidents happen, the results are far more likely to result in fatalities compared to other types of accidents. There could be a number of reasons why a driver is in the wrong place going the wrong way; but no matter the reason, there’s a good chance that if a collision happens at least one death will occur.

Two people died and two others were injured in Lexington last month in a wrong-way collision on I-75 near the Iron Works Pike exit (Exit 120), according to WKYT. The accident occurred in the early morning in the southbound lanes in Fayette County near the Scott County line. The county coroner reported that Michael Jones, 40, of Leslie County, and Chad Taylor, 42, of Whitley County, were killed in the crash.

Both of the deceased were drivers and the other two were passengers. One vehicle was driving the wrong way on the highway. One vehicle hit a wall, while the other crashed into the emergency strip on the side of the road.

The fact that there were fatalities shouldn’t surprise anyone. According to the Kentucky State Police’s Traffic Collision Facts 2013:

  • Head-on collisions were only 2% of all accidents in the state that year but caused 24% of traffic accident fatalities.
  • In 2013 there were 1,457 head-on collisions, causing 47 deaths.
  • About 3% of head-on collisions resulted in fatalities, while 0.4% of accidents where vehicles hit at an angle caused fatalities and 0.1% of sideswipe accidents and 0.08% of rear end collisions resulted in deaths.
  • If you’re involved in a head-on collision, you’re about 37.5 times more likely to be killed than in a rear-end accident, 30 times more likely than in a sideswipe accident, and 7.5 times more likely than if vehicles hit at an angle.

These Kentucky numbers are consistent with federal statistics. According to the National Transportation Safety Board:

  • Wrong-way collisions account for about 3% of accidents on high-speed, divided highways, but they are much more likely to cause serious injuries and deaths.
  • About 360 lives were lost each year for 2004 to 2009 in about 260 wrong-way collisions. Each year the number of fatalities was about the same.

The NTSB states that drivers going the wrong way are far more likely to be impaired by alcohol than those they collide with. There were 1,566 wrong-way drivers involved in the NTSB study, and about 60% of them had evidence of alcohol consumption, compared to 6.5% of drivers travelling in the proper lane.

If you or a family member has been injured in a wrong way collision in Kentucky, you can rely on the Julie Butcher Law Office, which has extensive experience handling the claims of those injured in vehicle accidents. Call us at 859-233-3641 or fill out our contact form so we can talk about the circumstances of your case and how we might help your family obtain compensation for your injuries.