Yet Another Wrong Way Driver Takes A Life On US 131
This seems to be a continuing problem, and the sad fact is that there is little offered in the way of solutions.
A 59 year old Wyoming woman died early Friday when her vehicle, traveling southbound on US 131 was struck by a northbound SUV going the wrong way.
The 21 year old driver of the SUV is in serious condition with injuries suffered in the crash, which closed down southbound 131 into downtown most of the morning commute, causing massive delays.
A wrong way driver last month injured five people on I-196. A web search about wrong way drivers in West Michigan results in countless articles writing about this problem from years ago.
So why does it continue to be problem? Drunk driving is a part of it. A study by AAA released in March shows that over 60 percent of wrong way crashes involved impaired drivers.
“Alcohol impairment is, by far, the single most significant factor in the majority of wrong-way driving crashes, which unfortunately has not changed since the NTSB issued its Wrong-Way Driving special investigation report in 2012,” said NTSB Director of the Office of Highway Safety, Dr. Rob Molloy.
Distracted drivers, fatigued and older drivers with medical issues fill in a lot of the remaining 40%.
Triple A added that even using the buddy system would eliminate some of the issues.
A passenger’s presence may offer some protection against being a wrong-way driver, as nearly 87% of wrong-way drivers were alone. Passengers may alert drivers that they are entering a one-way road, preventing them from entering the highway in the wrong direction, or alerting them to their error, helping the driver take corrective action before a crash occurs.
According to Wikipedia, about 355 people are killed each year in crashes caused by drivers headed in the wrong direction on the highway in the US.
Being alert and defensive as a driver is your best option say the experts, and if you spot a wrong way driver coming at you, pull over to the shoulder if you can and hope like hell they just pass you by.
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