Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Feb 20, 2015 in Auto Accidents
The Lonestar State leads the nation in wrong-way accidents and collisions. Despite the fact that there have been nearly 3,500 wrong-way accidents in Texas over the past four years, the states Department of Transportation has adopted few of the recommended measures to prevent these types of collisions.
Most wrong-way collisions are caused by intoxicated drivers who disregard warning signs and enter the highways from the wrong direction. Transportation researchers at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Texas Transportation Institute have recommended that changes be made to freeway ramps to make it clearer that drivers need to turn around.
These suggestions include reflectors, bright red sign posts, pavement markings, and lowered warning signs saying things like DO NOT ENTER and WRONG WAY located closer to a vehicles line of sight.
An investigation by NBC 5 found that the state of California had conducted an experiment to track the results of attempts to prevent wrong-way entries onto the freeway. The state lowered their warning signs, and videotaped the results. The lowered, more obvious signs eliminated the majority of wrong-way entries onto the highway. Now, the lowered signs are standard on California freeway ramps.
Texas has adopted lowered signs on some toll roads, but these signs are on a very small minority of highway entrances and exits across the state. The Texas Department of Transportation told NBC 5 that there was not enough conclusive data showing that lowering the signs would prevent these types of accidents.
In northern Texas, the North Texas Transportation Authority has begun using roadway sensors on local toll roads which detect wrong way drivers and then alert police. However, these measures are expensive to implement, and do not actually prevent drivers from entering the toll road in the wrong direction.
Measures which only alert police to a dangerous driver do not prevent accidents. In fact, this past Christmas Eve, police received over 30 calls alerting them to a wrong way driver in Fort Worth, but could not get to the scene before the driver crashed head on into 18-year-old Sabrina Fernandez, killing her.
Drivers in Texas deserve as much protection as possible from these dangerous collisions. Whether it is stepping up drunk driving prevention, cracking down on impaired motorists, or implementing new safety measures to reverse the climbing rates of wrong way collisions, something must be done to stop this problem.
If you or your loved one was injured in a head-on collision, you deserve justice. Contact the experienced auto accident attorneys at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings today, and learn how you can hold negligent drivers responsible for the injuries they cause.