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Wrong-way drivers a big problem in Arizona

You may have experienced this while out on roadways in the Phoenix area. You are driving down a busy highway. You may pull into the fast lane to pass a slower moving car. Suddenly, you notice all of the cars in front of you pulling over to the side of the road. A car goes screaming by you, traveling the wrong way through very crowded lanes of traffic. If you had not been paying close attention, you could have found yourself seriously injured in a head-on collision.

This scenario is not as far-fetched as it may seem. Arizona has had an increase in motor vehicle accidents caused by wrong-way drivers. According to a study performed by the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT), the state has averaged roughly 22 wrong-way crashes a year from 2004 to 2014. This averages out to almost eight fatalities from wrong-way accidents each year.

How is the state addressing this issue?

Officials are taking many steps to try to prevent these crashes from occurring. On Interstate 10 and Interstate 17, the DOT plans to introduce sensors that would detect if drivers are going the wrong way. If the sensors are triggered, the wrong-way driver would see signs with flashing lights in an attempt to alert them. The sensors would also allow law enforcement to determine where the wrong-way driving is taking place.

Additional signage is going to be placed on on-ramps as well, in an attempt to put drivers on notice before they merge on to busy highways. The state also is working with several outside companies to employ other prevention methods on roadways throughout the region.

What is causing the high number of wrong-way drivers?

Unfortunately, it is believed that many of these motorists are impaired. They are too intoxicated to realize that they are placing other drivers at risk with this extremely dangerous behavior. When they finally do figure out what is happening, they make aggressive moves to try to correct the issue, and end up causing a serious accident.

What should you do if you are injured in a crash?

The most important thing that you can do if you are involved in an accident is to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about your claim. An attorney is going to be able to fully investigate your case, which will help you learn the compensation that is available to you.

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