According to TAPCO (Traffic & Parking Control Co., Inc.), a Wisconsin based business headquartered in Brown Deer, Wisconsin dedicated to manufacturing, distributing and servicing the latest innovations in safety, wrong way driving often leads to a head on collision. In fact, driving the wrong way in one-way traffic or wrong side of road factored into 3.1 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S. More than 5 result in a fatality. It’s hard to understand how someone could enter on the wrong side without immediately realizing it. The National Transportation Safety Board says at least 80% of wrong-way crashes involve alcohol. But then, we already assumed that anyone driving on the wrong side of the road are either drunk (or British). An NBC News investigation has found that nearly 4,000 people have been killed in wrong-way traffic crashes nationwide over the last decade. And Texas ranks highest for wrong-way accidents. Data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) shows wrong-way accidents jumped 13% in the last year, even as other states have managed to reduce the number of those collisions by lowering warning signs on highway ramps.
So, what steps are being made to fix the problem? Well, installing WRONG WAY blinker sign systems can warn and deter drivers from entering onto freeways and tollways by providing the extra visible warning cues standard traffic signs lack. These solar-powered BlinkerSigns are only activated by vehicles traveling in the wrong direction. Another brilliant solution they have come up with is to also install signs facing the opposite direction to warn drivers of the wrong way traveling vehicle. And lowering signs (which only cost $200 to $300 per ramp) make them more visible in a car’s headlights at night (when most alcohol related wrong-way crashes occur). Apparently drivers who have been drinking also tend to lower their heads. So, with such an affordable solution, why not move forward? California lowered their signs back in the 1970’s. Since then, so has Arizona, Georgia, Virginia, Ohio and Florida. These methods have even been tested in Texas and the number of mistaken entries was cut by more than half on the Dallas North Tollway. It’s apparently getting some resistance until further research due to the lower signs being a hazard if someone hits one.
In closing, until we embrace extra measures like other states have, perhaps remembering to “At Night, Keep Right” since wrong-way drivers are usually barreling at you in your far left lane, may save your life.
Until next week…
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Wrong Way Driving – Comedy Defensive Driving