Indiana’s interstates and highways are far from immune to wrong-way car accidents. In fact, a quick Google search of “Indiana wrong-way accidents” will produce a number of stories involving terrible crashes involving wrong-way drivers.
Sadly, 2020 has already seen two Indiana wrong-way car accidents make news headlines, both occurring on major interstates. (Of course, there have also been other wrong-way accidents in the Hoosier state, but they simply were not covered by the media.)
A March wrong-way crash on Interstate 265 occurred when the driver of an SUV traveling the wrong direction on I-65 S merged onto I-265 W, driving west in the eastbound lanes. The SUV collided with a 2017 Cavalier containing 2 adult women and their young sons. Both women and one of the children were killed. The remaining child in the Cavalier and the driver of the wrong-way SUV suffered severe injuries. Alcohol was believed to be a factor.
A second wrong-way crash happened in May on I-70 when an elderly driver traveling in the wrong direction collided with a semi-truck. The wrong-way driver did not survive the crash, and neither drugs nor alcohol was considered to be a factor in the collision.
Due to the traumatic and fatal injuries often sustained in wrong-way accidents, it is important to review some of the more factors behind these types of collisions. Hopefully, a better understanding of their causes will help to reduce and/or prevent them from occurring in the future.
What are Common Causes of Wrong-Way Car Accidents?
Throughout the years, Boulton Law Group has witnessed a number of the state’s wrong-way car accidents. In addition to examining several Indiana accident reports, follow-up investigations have pinpointed a number of causes linked to wrong-way crashes, including:
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Unsurprisingly, a large number of Indiana’s wrong-way car accidents are the result of one or more drivers being intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
The inebriated state of a wrong-way driver greatly increases the likelihood that they will not see or simply ignore Wrong Way signs, other vehicles, and safety precautions designed to prevent these types of collisions.
Depending on the circumstances and injuries sustained by the victims in a wrong-way accident, the at-fault driver may also face a number of criminal charges, including one or more felonies and possible incarceration.
A driver that is not well-rested, or operating a vehicle with little sleep, is more susceptible to confusion, increasing the likelihood that they will mistakenly merge or turn the wrong way onto an interstate/highway.
In some instances, fatigued drivers will have fallen asleep shortly before a wrong-way collision, giving them no time to avoid oncoming traffic.
A wrong-way accident caused by a tired driver can occur day or night, however, an NHTSA report shows the majority of these collisions happen between midnight and 6 a.m., or in the late afternoon.
Reports of wrong-way drivers who were found to be experiencing a cognitive or physical medical condition have also resulted in serious collisions.
While unfortunate and often unexpected, the driver experiencing a medical condition can still be held liable for a wrong-way collision, especially if it results in injuries to other motorists.
Despite Indiana’s laws to reduce distracted driving, we continue to see serious car accidents caused by mobile phone use and/or other distractions, such as in-dash displays, etc.
Drivers not focused on the road can easily miss a Wrong Way sign or mistakenly turn the wrong direction down a One Way road, resulting in a head-on collision with another vehicle.
Sometimes, due to slower reflexes, poor eyesight, confusion, and/or other age-related conditions, a number of Indiana’s wrong-way accidents will involve elderly drivers.
There have also been reported instances of an elderly driver who was traveling in the wrong direction due to a medication mistake, e.g., missing a dose or taking the wrong medicine.
In an effort to help reduce age-related wrong-way collisions, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles oversees a Driver Ability Program. This program allows investigative requests to be made on behalf of Indiana drivers who may be exhibiting a decreased ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Types of Injuries Caused by Wrong-Way Car Accidents
The majority of wrong-way accidents that make Indiana’s news headlines involve serious injuries and occur on major interstates, however, we have also witnessed a number of these collisions occurring on local highways and rural roadways.
No matter the location of the crash, wrong-way car accidents are known for causing a wide variety of traumatic injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and/or head injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Wrongful death
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
As these types of injuries suggest, the force generated by a head-on collision easily accounts for it being one of the most dangerous types of crashes on Indiana’s roadways.
Due to the medical bills that can result from a wrong-way accident, we recommend that you contact an experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer for a free case evaluation. Not only is it important that your rights be protected, but the attorney can also help you to locate all possible sources of insurance coverage.
Free Case Evaluations for Wrong-Way Accident Victims
If you or a family member were injured in a wrong-way Indiana car accident, you do not have to handle the insurance company on your own. Instead, you should be focused exclusively on your health.
Attorney Matt Boulton has more than 20 years’ experience helping injured Hoosiers with their personal injury claims, including helping victims of wrong-way car accidents recover deserved compensation.
Boulton Law Group offers wrong-way car accident victims and their families a Zero Fee Guarantee. In addition to providing you with a risk-free experience, this guarantee helps to ensure our clients Get Treated Like Family.
To speak to attorney Boulton for your FREE case evaluation, call 317-350-2680.
If you prefer to write, you can send the details of your story to us by using our confidential contact form. Attorney Boulton personally reviews all of Boulton Law Group’s web contacts.
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.