Wrong Way Driving Awareness Month

July is Wrong Way Driving Awareness Month, and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV) is sending a message to Florida drivers: Stay Right at Night. In other words, drivers should attempt to travel in the furthest right-hand lane when driving at night (including dawn and dusk).

Driving in the right-hand lane could save drivers from being in a wrong-way driver’s path of travel. Statistics show that most fatal wrong-way accidents occur in the center or left lane because wrong-way drivers assume they are driving on the right side of the road.

Wrong-Way Accidents are Deadly

In 2015, there were 1,490 reported wrong-way crashes in the State of Florida, resulting in 1,454 injuries and 96 deaths. Following Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties, Hillsborough County ranked third in the State for the highest number of wrong-way crashes (129), injuries (122) and deaths (6) in 2015. Unfortunately, drivers in Tampa are becoming all-too familiar with reports of wrong-way accidents.

Surprisingly, not all wrong-way drivers are impaired. According to FDHSMV’s report, the condition of approximately 54% of the wrong-way drivers in 2015 was “apparently normal.” Wrong-way accidents have often occurred after a driver failed to observe a posted traffic sign or street marking and proceeded to travel in a wrong lane. This is one reason why the safety campaign is emphasizing the importance of all drivers learning and obeying the traffic signs.

Stay Right at Night

As part of Wrong Way Driving Awareness Month, FDHSMV has provided the following safety suggestions for avoiding wrong-way accidents:

  • Stay Right at Night to avoid wrong-way drivers.
  • Stay alert: Do not drive distracted and Never driver under the influence.
  • Learn and obey all traffic signs. If you drive past a wrong way sign, turn around! Additionally, remember that red signs are warnings to: Stop; Do Not Enter; or Wrong Way.
  • Be on the lookout for FDOT’s electronic message signs for wrong way driver alerts. If you see an alert, slow down, move to the right, and drive with extra caution.
  • If you see a wrong-way driver, reduce your speed, pull off the road immediately, and call 911.

Injured in a Wrong-Way Accident in Tampa

If you have been involved in a wrong-way accident in Tampa, contact the Capaz Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced accident attorneys. Our Tampa injury lawyers will conduct an immediate investigation to determine the cause of the accident and will work to help you recover all possible damages, including punitive damages (if appropriate), from all responsible parties. Contact the Capaz Law Firm at 813-440-2700.