2019 Wrong-Way Driver Fatalities in Arizona
In 2019, there have been over 1,000 wrong-way driver incidents in Arizona, almost 100 more than the same time period last year. A wrong-way accident lawyer in Phoenix, AZ can advise victims regarding their potential legal claims for damages.
Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesperson Bart Graves stated that the cause of the spike in wrong-way accidents is unknown, however impairment is a strong factor in these instances.
NHTSA states that every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes – that’s one person every 48 minutes in 2017. These deaths have fallen by a third in the last three decades; however, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year.
Recently, a wrong-way driver in Chandler was accused of causing two crashes on the I-10 on-ramp. According to police, the driver caused a collision at the Ray Road/I-10 interchange, and while police were responding to the crash the wrong-way driver continued to travel eastbound in the westbound lanes, causing a second crash, Chandler police arrested the driver for driving under the influence. This wrong-way driving incident is the 5th incident to occur in August:
- August 13th, 2019: Wrong-way crash closed I-17 northbound close to Carefree Highway for several hours
- August 14th, 2019: Wrong-way driver traveling on I-10, taken into custody for impairment
- August 15th, 2019: Wrong-way driver stopped on I-17 at Indian School Road, suspected of being impaired
- August 23rd, 2019: Wrong-way driver with a child in the car stopped near I-10 and Elliot
Another casualty caused by a wrong-way driver was 20-year-old Laiquan Lemon of Goodyear, who was killed in early August when her car collided with a vehicle traveling in the wrong lane of traffic. Her death brought this year’s wrong-way driver fatalities total to 16 in Arizona. A wrong-way accident lawyer in Phoenix, AZ can investigate potential fault and evaluate the claims for injuries and damages, the attorney will explain the legal process, the possibility of settlement.
ADOT spokesman, Doug Nintzel states that the agency is working to take steps to reduce the occurrence of wrong-way collisions on Arizona’s highways. ADOT has installed hundreds of lower, more prominent “Wrong Way,” “Do Not Enter,” and large “Right Way” signs on freeway interchanges and off-ramps, which glow red when a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction is moving towards them. ADOT has also implemented highway lane-line reflectors that glow red to wrong-way drivers.
ADOT is currently evaluating the performance of its wrong-way vehicle detection and warning system, which consists of thermal cameras installed at off-ramps along the I-10 and I-17. These cameras have detected over 70 wrong-way vehicles since January.
Although these measures can reduce the risk of wrong-way incidents, ADOT acknowledges that they cannot prevent wrong-way driving altogether. “This public safety issue will not be solved by only engineering and enforcement,” the ADOT recently stated in a safety campaign. “We all need to work to keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel.”
A wrong-way accident lawyer in Phoenix, AZ should be consulted when serious injuries occur, a free consultation should be provided. Call the office of Paul Englander, PLC for more information.