You and every other driver in Pennsylvania have likely faced the dangers posed by drunk drivers. Sadly, it is often up to sober drivers to keep a lookout and avoid impaired drivers. Victims who are fortunate to survive drunk driving accidents may suffer the long-term consequences of spinal cord or brain injuries.
Many drunk driving accidents follow impaired drivers who cross over the center line because they are unable to maintain proper control of their vehicles. However, there are also those who get onto the highways at the off-ramps and travel in the wrong direction without realizing it -- threatening the lives of other motorists on the road.
How to protect yourself from drunk wrong-way drivers
Wrong-way driving is prevalent on Pennsylvania highways, and they can cause severe crashes with devastating consequences. Head-on collisions are the most feared of all types of accidents because they are often fatal. Although you may not be able to avoid a wrong-way driver, the following tips may prevent fatalities in your car:
- Scan the road ahead: The sooner you spot a driver approaching in your lane, the more time you will have to take evasive action. Reportedly, most of these crashes occur after dark and on weekends -- mostly between midnight and about 3 a.m. You may spot an approaching vehicle in your lane if you scan the road ahead all the time.
- Anticipate the drunk driver's moves: According to authorities, most intoxicated drivers travel at low speeds to avoid law enforcement pulling them over for speeding because they know all too well that it may lead to DUI arrests. Because such drivers are unaware of the fact that they are traveling in the wrong direction, they will likely keep to their rights, which will put them in your left lane. If you move over to your right-hand lane, you may avoid a head-on collision.
- Announce your presence: If you see a wrong-way driver approaching and you have nowhere to go to avoid that vehicle, it might help to flash your lights and honk your horn in an attempt to alert that driver of his or her error.
- Avoid a head-on crash: If you realize that a collision is unavoidable, you might limit the severity of the injuries by swinging your car sideways to avoid a head-on collision. This will likely improve the survival odds for you and your passengers.
What are your rights?
If you or a loved one are suffering the consequences of a wrong-way drunk driving accident, you may pursue financial relief through the civil justice system of Pennsylvania. Experienced legal counsel can assist in the navigation of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in pursuit of a monetary judgment to cover financial and emotional damages.