Why Are Wrong-Way Crashes Increasing in Dallas/Fort Worth?

Deadly Head-On Collisions More Common on Certain Texas Roads

Wrong-way accidents have increased in Texas and tend to only happen on certain highways — some right here.  Statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation show that the number of wrong-way accidents in Texas increased by 13 percent just during the last year. 

Don’t think this is a serious problem? These often high-speed collisions are responsible for 50 fatalities and more than 700 injuries just in North Texas since 2011.

Head-On Crashes Are Often Deadly

Head-on crashes typically cause serious and fatal injuries because the impact of the collision equals the force of both vehicles. Therefore the occupants have a better chance of surviving with non-life threatening injuries if their car hits a stationary object than if the vehicle runs head-on into another vehicle.

Dallas County Sheriff’s Department commander Don Peritz said, “There’s no way to escape injury or possible death in these crashes when two cars collide at such high rates of speed.”

Investigation Pinpoints Dangerous Stretches of Texas Highways

The NBC 5 investigation found that head-on collisions are more common in certain areas of Texas highways, including many here in the DFW area:

  • 11 head-on collisions have occurred along Central Expressway from Downtown Dallas to Forest Lane within a four-year period, including two fatal crashes. 
  • Seven wrong-way wrecks have occurred on Highway 360 in Arlington between U.S. Highway 287 and Interstate 30, resulting in numerous injuries.
  • Three wrong-way crashes that killed five people have happened on I-30 near Beach Street in Fort Worth.

Texas DOT Needs To Do More To Prevent Wrong-Way Wrecks 

Drunk drivers cause most of these catastrophic head-on collisions when they veer over the dividing line into oncoming traffic or are too drunk to notice they entered the highway in the wrong direction. However, drivers distracted by texting, cell phones or other matters are also responsible for many of these deadly accidents. Or, in some cases, a driver was simply confused.

TxDOT can and must take effective steps to prevent wrong-way wrecks. For example, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommends posting different signs and adding warning lights at highway exit ramps to alert confused, distracted or drunk drivers who are headed the wrong way. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies suggests dividing two-lane highways with buffer medians or rumble strips and widening the lanes’ cross section.

Deborah Hersman, head of the NTSB when the agency conducted a 2012 study of wrong-way crashes makes clear, “We’ve got to do a better job of saving lives and preventing injuries and that means investing money on the front end, whether it’s in technology or signs or redesign.” Unfortunately, not much has been done since she made that statement, resulting in tragic and unnecessary losses for hundreds of Texas families.

Learn More About Your Rights After a Head-On Collision

Berenson Law Firm has handled vehicle crash cases since 1982, involving numerous head-on collisions. Call us toll-free 888-801-8585 or 817-885-8000 from within the Dallas-Fort Worth area to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We are here to help get you the compensation you deserve. 

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