Wrong way driver drives 17 miles on I-5 nearly avoiding car accidents

Sometimes the most bizarre stories are true.

Today, The Olympian reported that a 60-year-old woman was arrested after she drove her car 17 miles on Interstate 5 in the wrong direction. The report said that drove north in the southbound lanes at speeds of more than 100mph without her headlights on.
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Everyone driving on the stretch of Interstate 5 between Tumwater and Joint Base Lewis-McChord is lucky to have avoided being in a collision though the paper said there were several near misses.

Police were able to apprehend the woman after they used spike strips to stop her car.

Though this story is decidedly bizarre, wrong-way car accidents occur more than one would think. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wrong-way car accidents are the cause of 3% of all motor vehicle accidents and 5% of all motor vehicle fatalities.

Causes of Wrong Way Driving

About half of all wrong way driving accidents are caused by people attempting to make a U turn. Unfathomable that it may seem, some people attempt to make U turns on major highways.

The other major cause of wrong way driving is intoxication. Drunk drivers get confused and enter off ramps and start driving down the highway. In fact, most wrong-way car accidents involve either alcohol or elderly drivers.

Elderly drivers can be confused while driving at night time. Many elderly people suffer from cataracts or other vision problems and they have trouble reading traffic signs and become confused with on and off ramps after dark.

Occasionally, a suicidal person will deliberately cross the center line and drive the wrong way.

Avoiding the Wrong Way Driver

Whenever you are driving be sure to scan the road ahead of you and look for emergency situation such as traffic suddenly braking or swerving. Look out for headlights coming in the opposite direction. Use extreme caution when driving in the inside lane of an undivided highway, especially on curves. Most wrong way drivers will drive in the inside lane or inside shoulder thinking they are on a two-lane road.

Results of Wrong Way Driving

Most wrong way drivers cause head-on collisions or side swipe accidents. These are some of the most serious types of accidents and they often result in catastrophic injuries, such as spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or death to the wrong way driver and to the innocent people he or she runs into.

Car Accident Help

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed by a negligent driver, you are advised to seek legal help. The reason is that a Washington personal injury attorney investigating your car accident would determine whether there was alcohol consumption by the driver who caused your crash. In some circumstances, you might be able to make a claim against the establishment that served the alcohol.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those who have died. We provide a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL case evaluation and we will honestly assess your case with no pressure put on you to sign anything.

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2 injured when wrong-way driver collides with tanker truck in Vancouver, WA

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Bellevue to assist you.