In many cases, wrong-way driving accidents happen with little to no warning. Many of these accidents happen on the interstate, where cars traveling toward each other may be closing that gap at 140-150 miles per hour. There’s just no time to see what is happening and react.
However, when visibility is especially good or when vehicles are traveling a bit more slowly, you may have time to see what is coming. If you spot a wrong-way driver coming toward you, likely impaired by alcohol or other drugs to the point that they made a crucial error, what should you do?
Steps you can take when you encounter a wrong-way driver
While nothing guarantees they won’t hit you, here are a few steps you can take to improve your safety:
- Stay on the right side of the road or the right-most lane. The driver coming toward you will think that your left lane is their natural lane, so that’s where they’re likely to be.
- Even if you can’t move right, move to get out of their path. Remember that they probably haven’t realized they’re going the wrong way.
- Attempt to get their attention. You may be able to honk your horn or flash your lights.
- Reduce your speed. This can make a potential accident less dangerous and gives the other driver more reaction time.
- After they go by, call the police and report it. Hopefully, they can stop the driver before an accident happens.
As noted, though, there’s no guarantee they will not strike your car, potentially leaving you with serious injuries. If so, be sure you know exactly what options you have to seek out financial compensation.