Question and Answer: Are Wrong Way Driving Accidents A Problem in Texas?
Answer: Yes. Wrong way driving accidents continue to be a major problem affecting many Texas communities. Houston and San Antonio, Texas have both been plagued by the problem of wrong-way driving and are searching for ways to limit or eliminate this deadly problem.
If you live in Texas, the chances are very high that you have seen on the news or read in the paper about a tragic accident involving one driver going the wrong direction on a roadway. The first reaction, generally, to this news is for people to think that the wrong way driver is either drunk or failed to negotiate the roadway for some bizarre reason. Sometimes the wrong way driver is impaired to the extent that they are so intoxicated that they drive the wrong way on a public roadway. However, the reality is that certain cities have a much higher incidence of wrong way driving without necessarily just having a higher drunk driving problem. Sometimes roadway configuration and signage in a particular city increase the likelihood of these dangerous accidents.
The Texas Transportation Institute has studied this problem exhaustively and has made some of the following observations:
- Wrong way driving accidents tend to be more severe and lead to more fatalities and serious injuries than non wrong-way accidents.
- Elderly drivers are an over-represented class of drivers when it comes to drunk driving accidents.
- Male drivers are more likely than female drivers to be involved in wrong way accidents.
- Since detailed records have been kept on wrong way driving, more than 50 percent of wrong way drivers have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Wrong-way crashes are much more common in the night and early morning hours than during day time.
- In 2011, there were 185 wrong way driving events in San Antonio, Texas.
- Between 2007 and 2011, there were 1,153 traffic fatalities caused by wrong way driving in Texas.
Wrong way driving accidents are a very serious problem in Texas. The State of Texas and various cities continue to try to find ways to combat this very real issue.