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Drunk Drivers Causing Fatal Wrong Way Accidents And Prompting Additional Safety Procedures On Arizona Roads

This article shares some great advice from Phoenix car accident lawyer, Aaron Crane from Cantor Crane with respect to drunk drivers and how they cause serious accidents. It was more than ten years ago that Arizona’s finest law enforcement officers and law officials together have been working hand in glove to lessen the numbers of car accidents which were both caused by drunk drivers and proved to be fatal. They have cracked down in particular on those accidents which happen because of a drunk driver who is going the wrong way on the highways throughout the state of Arizona.

This threat has still not been greatly diminished, despite the often heroic efforts that have been made to address the killing threats. Even though law enforcement has worked tirelessly on the problem, the sheer numbers of such wrong way drunk driving fatalities are actually going up during the last few years.

In fact in 2005, Arizona only witnessed eight such tragic deaths as a result of these wrong way drunk driving caused crashes, per the NHTSA, or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Yet in 2009, the quantities had already doubled up to a more harrowing 16 fatalities. By 2015, in only one month there were three different consecutive fatal wrong way drunk driver created accidents that happened on Phoenix’s I-10.

Because the numbers are upsetting despite efforts made to the contrary, ADOT, or Arizona Department of Transportation is always working on coming up with and putting into place new and improved strategies to pick up on and stop motorists from going in the wrong direction on the state highways of Arizona.

The Facts on Fatal Wrong Way DUI Crashes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration went on the offensive in 2012 by releasing a major report that came to the conclusion that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, known commonly as a DUI, remains the primary cause of the overwhelming majority of wrong way accidents. This same study further described and detailed that such collisions lead to greater numbers of accident-related deaths than with other types of car accidents. This is mainly a result of these kinds of accidents ending in direct collisions while both vehicles are moving at tremendous rates of speed.

The timing of such accidents is similarly telling, as the majority of them happen after midnight and have drunk drivers involved who are not even aware that they are now driving on a highway when they do so. At the present time, the policies of law enforcement officers within Arizona prohibit the utilization of a deadly force in trying to halt a drunk and wrong way moving driver. Following in pursuit after these drivers also going the wrong way at tremendous rates of speed is similarly against the law.

Rather than do this, the officers typically attempt to halt the offending driver by putting their own police car ahead of the drunk driver’s vehicles. Sometimes they alternatively attempt to throw out spike strips along the path of these wrong way drivers or try to collide with the back side of the drunk driver’s vehicle to put it into a tailspin. It is true that such efforts are better than nothing, but officials throughout the state are more interested in stopping such drunk drivers before they are able to get on the wrong direction on the highways and byways of Arizona.

The Implementation of Newer Safety Changes Expected to Help

One effort that the state is undertaking involves putting up bigger and more noticeable Do Not Enter and Wrong Way signs that are better reflectors on the exit ramps of the Arizona state highways. Such additional and improved signs are also to be put up at lower heights than the presently attached ones. This is because the most current research shows that drivers who are drunk or drugged simply do not look out ahead far enough in order to recognize any signs that are put up too high. They are also going to deploy additional signs with warning and flashing red lights adorning the signs’ edges.

Besides this, there will be a greater number of the wrong way reflectors installed on the off ramps with brighter and more easily noticed reflectors that drivers will more easily recognize as they come up the ramp. The arrows along the pavement are also being repainted to seem brighter and bigger to people.

The ADOT is presently testing out the utilization of electronic types of sensors at two off ramps on Arizona 101. Such electronic sensors as these are able to determine if vehicle approaching are coming in the wrong direction. The sensors are smart equipped to broadcast warning alerts to nearby officers of the law when they detect this type of accident waiting to happen.

Should you or someone you care about have suffered injuries or death because of a wrong way driver who was drunk, you should talk with a Phoenix car accident lawyer. Each personal injury lawyer here at Cantor Crane are both helpful and highly knowledgeable. They promise to never rest until your family have received justice and recompense that are fairly and reasonably deserved. Contact Cantor Crane at (602) 254-2701.

About the Author

Criminal Defense Attorney Samuel L. Sachs, Esq. is committed to provide excellent legal services for all types of criminal matters throughout New Jersey.