How Wrong-Way Highway Accidents Happen

A head-on collision with a vehicle going the wrong direction on the highway is one of the scariest and most dangerous types of car accidents that happen in Pittsburgh. The sheer force of two (or more) vehicles crashing directly into each other at highway speeds can easily cause fatal injury or permanent disability.

Tragically, two people died in a recent crash involving a wrong-way driver on I-376 in Churchill. Around 2:30 a.m. on July 9, a pickup truck somehow ended up going west in the eastbound lanes. It crashed into an SUV and a third vehicle. The SUV flipped over, killing a passenger. Another person, apparently one of the drivers, died of his injuries a few days later. It is not clear from a news report which vehicle the man was driving.

What causes wrong-way car accidents?

As an experienced driver who has never found themselves on the wrong side of the highway, you might be wondering how incidents like this can happen. While thankfully, wrong-way drivers are fairly rare, they are common enough to pose a real threat. A few causes include:

  • Drunk driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving at night

These can cause the driver to get confused and enter the highway through an exit ramp or drift across the median on a non-divided highway. Obviously, driving drunk or distracted are negligent choices that a driver makes. Depending on the lighting and visibility of signage, entering the wrong way might be the fault of the government entity in charge of the highway, at least in part.

Who is to blame?

Determining who is to blame for a car accident is not always cut and dried. An experienced personal injury attorney knows to thoroughly investigate their client’s crash to identify all potential defendants.