Safety Feature to Prevent Drastic Increase in Wrong-Way Crashes
Four people were tragically killed in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 30 near Greenville on Friday. A 79 year-old man somehow got confused, jumped into his car after midnight. He travelled east in the westbound lanes and collided head-on with a SUV carrying five teens. Unable to avoid the wreckage, a semi ran into both disabled vehicles. Three of the teens, the elderly driver and his dog died and two teens were injured in the accident.
Although the facts are unique, the situation is all too familiar. A drunk, lost or distracted driver mistakenly enters a highway in the wrong direction and plows head-on into another vehicle. People are injured or die in this totally preventable accident.
I have covered this topic extensively in this blog, exploring why wrong-way crashes are so common in Texas and why this particular type of accident is increasing dramatically in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Lower Signs to Be Installed at High-Risk Dallas and Fort Worth Intersections
Texas transportation specialists have proposed a novel strategy to stop drivers from entering the roadway in the wrong direction. Currently “Do Not Enter” and “Wrong Way” signs alert drivers of their error so they can turn around before encountering another vehicle.
Unfortunately, confused drivers often do not notice the signs because, as an expert in wrong-way crashes explained, “They’re not looking to the left or right or scanning up high. They’re basically looking right over the hood at the pavement right in front of them.”
Based upon this conclusion, North Texas Tollway Authority has installed Wrong Way and Do Not Enter signs at eye level, instead of the traditional seven feet. Also, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has given individual districts the discretion to install the eye-level, three feet high signs in high-risk locations.
You may have noticed a few of these lower signs at certain intersections where wrong-way crashes are a danger. The North Texas Tollway Authority has plans to expand the lowered signage throughout Dallas and Fort Worth as early as next spring.
In addition to the eye-level warning signs, experts recommend other safeguards, such as reflective red sheeting and lashing red LED lights to more effectively catch the wrong-way driver’s attention. Also, overhead highway signs could be used to warn wrong-way drivers who have already entered the opposite moving lane of traffic. Let’s hope TxDOT considers these important wrong-way collision prevention measures.
If you have been injured by a wrong-way driver, Berenson Injury Law Firm can help. Call our office at 817-885-8000 or toll-free at 1-800-801-8585 for a free case evaluation.