In April, a 34-year-old Missouri woman drove south down the northbound lanes of Interstate 435 near 87th Street in Kansas City. She crashed head-on into a car traveling in the correct direction, striking and killing 24-year-old driver Danzel Campbell of Independence. The woman, who police said smelled of alcohol and couldn’t recall what road she was on, was given a blood test and charged with driving while intoxicated.
Unfortunately, drunk driving and wrong way driving all too often go hand in hand, and all too often have extremely dangerous and deadly consequences. Driving while intoxicated and wrong way driving can also result in much more serious punishments in court, especially if the incident involves a serious crash, injuries, or fatalities.
What Is Wrong Way Driving?
Wrong way driving occurs when a driver is traveling the wrong way down a divided highway or interstate. It differs from driving in the wrong lane, or swerving into oncoming traffic, because there is a median in between the two flows of traffic.
Wrong way driving mostly happens at night – between 6 PM and 6 AM – and mostly happens on the weekends. This is because that’s when more intoxicated drivers and tired drivers are on the road, as well as when it is more difficult to clearly see signage.
What Are The Common Causes Of Wrong Way Driving?
More than half of wrong way drivers are intoxicated, and many of them are extremely intoxicated. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that over half of intoxicated wrong way drivers had a BAC of 0.15 or higher – almost twice the legal limit.
However, not all wrong way driving accidents are caused by drinking alcohol. Other common causes include:
- Senior drivers. Drivers over 70 years of age are overrepresented when it comes to wrong way driving. In these cases, drivers may be suffering from dementia, may suffer from poor eyesight, or may simply be confused.
- People with medical conditions. A significant number of wrong way drivers are diabetics having low blood sugar attacks. Others suffer from mental illness.
- Poor signage. Some perfectly well-functioning people get on the wrong side of the highway or interstate because of poor or confusing signage. In other cases, poor signage contributes to wrong way accidents in combination with one of the other above issues.
- Suicide. Some wrong way drivers are attempting to end their life in a traffic accident.
Call An Attorney If You Are Facing DWI Charges That Involve Wrong Way Driving
If you have been charged with a DWI in Missouri that involves wrong way driving, you may benefit from the assistance of an experienced, aggressive St. Louis DWI attorney. At the Shostak Law Firm, our legal team can look at the details of your case and help you make all the right moves and secure the best possible outcome for your case. For more information, request our FREE Missouri DWI Survival Guide today.