Wrong Way Crashes in Utah Increased in 2020
Any car accident has the potential to cause catastrophic injuries or death. However, few are as dangerous as head on collisions, which are typically the result of someone driving the wrong way down a street. Fortunately, wrong way crashes do not happen as frequently as many other types of accidents, but according to recent data, wrong way crashes were up in Utah in 2020.
Here, car accident lawyer Lynn C. Harris looks further into recent statistics and goes over the most common causes of wrong way crashes, and the damages they can cause to drivers in Salt Lake City, UT, and across the state.
Sharp Rise In Wrong Way Crashes in 2020
Lieutenant Nick Street, head of the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP), recently reported that he has noticed an increase in Utah’s wrong way crashes. Car accident statistics for 2020 verify Lieutenant Street’s observation. In 2020, 104 wrong way crashes were reported across the state. That was a significant increase from the previous year, when there were 80 reported wrong way crashes. This 30 percent increase may seem unusual, but data shows that wrong way crashes are up across the country.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that national wrong way crashes increased by 34 percent between 2015 and 2018 compared to the years 2010 through 2014. Between 2015 and 2018 wrong way crashes on divided highways resulted in 2,008 deaths, or an average of 500 deaths a year. In comparison, during the previous time frame of 2010 and 2014, the average number of yearly deaths from wrong way crashes was 375.
Common Causes of Wrong Way Crashes
When there is a marked increase in a certain type of car crash, as we see here with wrong way accidents, it is important to consider what is causing them. AAA cites driver impairment as the leading cause of wrong way crashes across the country. Lieutenant Street believes that is the biggest issue for those in Utah as well. He estimates that 90 percent of wrong way crashes in the state are caused by impaired drivers.
While driver impairment, which includes driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, is the most prevalent cause of wrong way crashes, there are others to consider. These include:
- Disorientation (particularly common among older drivers)
- Wrong turns (common among solo drivers)
- Driver inexperience
- Driving in an unfamiliar area
Wrong Way Crash Damages
Wrong way crashes often result in catastrophic damages, and sometimes death. Injuries that are commonly sustained by victims of wrong way crashes include:
- Head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Traumatic spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries, including organ damage
Besides the physical damages of a wrong way crash, many of our Salt Lake City clients suffer emotional damage and financial losses. Common sources of financial loss include medical expenses, cost of ongoing therapy and/or rehabilitation, lost wages, and a diminished wage earning capacity.
Contact Our Law Firm
If you have been injured in a car accident in the Salt Lake City area, attorney Lynn C. Harris can help you fight for the financial compensation you may be due. To discuss the details of your accident, contact our law firm online, or call us at (801) 609-5943.