Driving on roads only works as well as it does because we agree to a certain set of rules- one of the basics is which side of the road to drive on. We agree that people going one direction will go on one side of the road, while people going the opposite direction will drive on the other side, and we will only cross the other side while following specific rules. Sometimes, though, people break that fundamental rule and drive on the opposite side of the road.  

What Causes Wrong Way Driving? 

There are a few different things that can cause wrong way driving, the most frequent of which is some kind of driver error. 50 – 75% of all wrong way driving accidents occur because of driving under the influence. 

  • Driving Under the Influence: When people drive under the influencer of drugs or alcohol, they drive recklessly and generally get into more accidents of any kind than sober drivers. They might swerve into another lane without realizing it or misread the road signs to end up on the wrong side of the road.  
  • Distracted Driving: Drivers who are distracted may either veer into the opposite lane without realizing, or they may be so distracted that they even go the wrong direction down an on or offramp.  
  • Unfamiliar Drivers: Drivers who are unfamiliar with the roadways in the area in which they are traveling have an increased chance of accidentally driving the wrong way on a road. They might mistake an offramp for an onramp or go the wrong way down a 1-way street.  
  • Poorly Marked Ramps: In addition to driver error, poorly marked or designed ramps can cause drivers to be confused. This increases the chance that they will mistake an offramp for an onramp or vice versa.  
  • Misleading Signage: Having badly placed signage or (even worse) no signs at all can direct drivers to the wrong ramp, leading to wrong way driving when they get on the road.  
  • Poor Visibility: Like poorly marked ramps, decreased visibility can confuse drivers and perhaps cause them to misread signs. This increases the chance that they will mistake an offramp for an onramp or vice versa. 
  • Driver Fatigue: When drivers become fatigues, they may swerve into opposing traffic or may be more likely to misread road signs.  

What Should I Do If I See a Wrong Way Driver? 

  1. Pull over and slow down. Move as far to the right as possible, even on to the shoulder.  
  2. If you cannot move to the right, stay in the center lane so that you can move either to the right or the left as necessary if a wrong way driver approaches.  
  3. Avoid swerving erratically into other lanes.  
  4. Avoid slamming on your breaks if there is a vehicle directly behind you.  
  5. Honk your horn, flash your lights, and turn on your hazard lights. Try to get the wrong way driver to see you.  
  6. Call 911 to report the situation as soon as possible, giving details like the license number, make, model, or color of the car. Any information that you can remember will help.  

What Lane Do Wrong Way Drivers Tend to Drive In? 

Wrong way drivers tend to drive in the left lane, which is why you should move as far to the right as possible if you see a wrong way driver. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, about 7 out of 9 wrong way driving accidents occur in the left-hand lane.  

How Common are Wrong Way Driving Accidents?  

The truth is that wrong way drivers are not very common. In Arizona in 2020, out of 255,259 accidents, only 162 of them were wrong way driving accidents, making up 0.07% of the total. However, they often result in head-on collisions- one of the most dangerous types of crashes.  

Hospitals Near You 

Depending on where you are in the Valley, here’s a list of some hospitals that may be close to you.  

Chandler 

Chandler Regional Medical Center 

Mercy Gilbert Medical Center 

Arizona General Medical Center 

North Phoenix 

Deer Valley Medical Center 

John C. Lincoln Medical Center 

Abrazo Arrowhead Campus 

Free Case Consultation

Get in touch with us today for your free consultation using this form.

Get Help Now 

At the Thompson Law Firm, we have more than 10 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries from car accidents, including wrong-way driving accidents. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office. 

If you have been in a car accident that is not your fault, contact Thompson Law Firm in Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in the greater Phoenix area including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Maricopa, Globe, and Queen Creek. 

Schedule A Free Case Consultation

Get in touch with us today for your free consultation.

Schedule Now

Our experienced attorneys offer comprehensive guidance on all personal injury matters by phone or video conference call.

Our team of lawyers work closely with their injury clients across Arizona, communicating clearly whilst offering reassurance and empathy through an often very difficult and emotional process. During the free consultation, our lawyers will discuss your concerns before creating a comprehensive plan for you, while also assessing the strength of your claim.

Call (480) 634-7480 & Speak To One Of Our Attorneys

Submit your information and we will reach out soon