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The Deadly Toll of Drunk, Wrong-Way Head–On Accidents

Wrong way accident fatalitiesWrong-way head on car crashes are a serious and sad reality in our society today. These accidents are typically caused by intoxicated, drunk, stoned or drugged motorists who do not realize they are travelling the wrong way. Typically, these reckless motorists are not just impaired, tipsy or buzzed drivers. They are usually hammered, wasted or nearly blacked out.

Wrong way driving is particularly deadly when a vehicle is travelling opposing the lawful direction of traffic on a divided highway, or highway/ freeway exit ramp. If you were injured in a wrong –way vehicular wreck or a loved one died as a result of a head-on crash in Rhode Island or Massachusetts then it is important that you retain a good RI or MA Personal Injury Lawyer or Wrongful Death attorney.

Thankfully, wrong way wrecks are very rare across the United States and in Rhode Island and Mass.  In a comprehensive study concerning wrong-way highway collisions, the National Transportation Safety Board (The NTSB) reports that “Wrong-way collisions occur relatively infrequently, accounting for only about 3 percent of accidents on high-speed divided highways,but they are much more likely to result in fatal and serious injuries than are other types of highway accidents.”

There is also tremendous research indicating the increased likelihood of a wrong way collision causing a fatality. Providence Wrongful death attorneys and RI Personal injury Attorneys are well aware of the tragic and deadly consequences of wrong-way vehicular operation.  “A study in Virginia found the fatality rate for wrong-way collisions on controlled-access highways to be 27 times that of other types of accidents.”

Fatal accidents: The deadly toll of wrong way motor vehicle travel:

Research indicates that hundreds of fatal crash deaths are caused by wrong-way automobile and vehicle accidents. “On average, about 360 lives are lost each year in about 260 fatal wrong-way collisions.” “A study in Michigan found that 22 percent of wrong-way collisions were fatal, compared to 0.3 percent for all highway accidents in the same time frame….The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) found a fatality rate 12 times greater compared to all other accidents on controlled-access highways.”

The interrelationship between drunk driving and head-on auto crashes simply cannot be ignored.  Too many accidents are caused by sloshed, obliterated and tanked motorist who drank too many alcohol beverages at a bars, parties, taverns or nightclub.

65 Percent of 20-39 year old wrong way Collisions Caused BY Drunk Driving!

“With respect to alcohol involvement, data indicated that younger wrong-way drivers were much more likely to be alcohol-impaired than older wrong-way drivers. Sixty-five percent of 20- to 39-year-olds had a reported BAC of 0.08 or higher.”

Many wrong way accidents involve the following motor vehicles: motorcycle (Bike), bus, trucks, semi trucks, tractor trailer, vans and SUVS


On February 28th, 2014 there were two wrong way auto accidents in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

On February 28th at 3am a motorist was operating her motor vehicle going south on 95N in Pawtucket Rhode Island. The wrong way driver hit a SUV, killing a passenger and two others were injured in the collision. The wrong way driver was seriously injured in the car crash and was in critical condition

According to channel 10 News, “Police said the vehicle was first spotted going the wrong way by other commuters in Providence near the junction of I-195 when she struck a Jersey barrier median and kept driving. She traveled some three miles from that spot before crashing into another vehicle.”

A few hours earlier, a Fall River Massachusetts resident was operating a motor vehicle on Route 195 in Somerset Ma. “Massachusetts State Police said Raymond Potvin, 79, of Fall River, was traveling west in the eastbound lanes when he hit another car and fled the scene. Three people were taken to a hospital. Potvin was arrested and charged with OUI.”

The United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration discussed a tragic accident in Seattle Washington: “About a mile down the freeway, Debra Acey, driving a 1997 sports utility vehicle (SUV), entered westbound I-90 going the wrong way. Seconds later, Fischer’s car slammed head-on into Acey’s SUV. The impact hurled both vehicles off the interstate in opposite directions, killing Klotz instantly and seriously injuring Fischer.”

“As in most wrong-way crashes, investigators couldn’t determine exactly how and why Acey drove right past two large “Wrong Way, Do Not Enter” signs and entered the freeway going the wrong way. But one circumstance was certain: Acey’s blood-alcohol level was 0.30, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08. Prosecutors charged Acey, 44, with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, the Seattle Times reported.”

Wrong way accidents often have criminal implications and could lead to imprisonment especially if someone is killed in an automobile wreck.

Read the Rhode Island Drunk Driving Statute, § 31-27-2  Driving under influence of liquor or drugs,  here:

Wrongful Death Accident Law in Rhode Island:

Rhode Island Wrongful Death Attorney | RI Fatal Accident Lawyer:

Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.

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