The volume of wrong-way car accidents in Ohio and nationwide has reached disturbing levels recently, leading to what some call a crisis. According to a 2021 report, over 2,000 fatalities involving wrong-way crashes occurred across the country between 2015 and 2018.
In Ohio alone, nearly 600 wrong-way car collisions occurred from 2011 to 2020 on divided highways in the state. Hamilton County ranked third in the state for its volume of wrong-way crashes, with five other Ohio counties also appearing in the top 25.
How is the state addressing this problem?
Advanced technology installed at exit ramps along I-71 in Cincinnati shows promising results. The technology utilizes sensors to alert motorists if they enter the 18-mile corridor from the wrong direction.
If the driver enters the highway despite the warning signs, the technology captures an image of the vehicle and triggers an “all call” to local law enforcement. It gives police officers the chance to intercept wrong-way drivers faster, potentially preventing more collisions.
How can you reduce your risk of a wrong-way crash?
The American Automobile Association (AAA) recommends these steps if you encounter a wrong-way driver:
- Slow down and move as far to the right as possible.
- Get the driver’s attention (tap the horn, flash your lights, etc.).
- Avoid fast braking, swerving and other potentially unsafe maneuvers.
Once you are out of danger, call 911 and report the incident to law enforcement. Try to get the make and model of the car as well as its color and license plate number. However, do not endanger yourself to obtain identifying information.
If a wrong-way collision occurs despite your attempts to avoid it, learn more about your car crash compensation options under Ohio law.