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Wrong-way crashes rising in Mecklenburg County

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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According to a Charlotte TV station, North Carolina State Highway Patrol troopers say they are trying to prevent more accidents on local interstates and highways like the one that recently took two lives on I-485.

Two men were killed in a wrong-way accident near West Boulevard. Troopers say wrong-way crashes are on the rise in Mecklenburg County. Most of the collisions involve alcohol or drugs, say law enforcement officials.

Wrong-way crashes are “too frequent right now,” said one trooper.

In the recent fatal crash, a 27-year-old man was driving the wrong way on the interstate when he slammed head-on into a vehicle driven by a 68-year-old man. Both drivers died in the violent collision.

According to the news report, NCDOT is testing sensors along Raleigh toll roads to see if they can help alert wrong-way drivers to their potentially fatal errors. Flashing lights go off when a wrong-way vehicle is detected.

A few years ago, the National Transportation Safety Board investigated wrong-way crashes because “they are much more likely to result in fatal and serious injuries than are other types of highway accidents.” The NTSB study found that many wrong-way drivers are impaired by alcohol, though in some cases medical conditions make it more difficult for drivers to recognize that they have made a wrong turn or taken an exit rather than a highway on-ramp.

There have also been reports that highway signs are sometimes unclear or difficult to spot, making it more likely that drivers will make mistakes leading to wrong-way collisions.

Those who have been injured or lost a loved one in a wrong-way crash can speak to an attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.