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Officials look to reduce wrong-way crashes in Georgia

Atlanta experienced several wrong-way crashes in 2012, and Georgia authorities are examining methods to reduce these scary and often tragic auto accidents. Someone who is hurt by a wrong-way driver may be able to obtain compensation to help with his or her recovery from the accident through a personal injury lawsuit.

Wrong-way crash statistics

At the end of 2012, the National Transportation Safety Board reported the results of an investigation into wrong-way crashes across the nation. According to an NTSB fact sheet, the agency studied 1,566 fatal wrong-way accidents that caused 2,139 deaths from 2004 to 2009. This is an average of 360 lives lost each year in wrong-way crashes. Further, the Associated Press reports that Jill Goldberg, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation, said there were 11 fatalities caused by wrong-way crashes in Georgia from 2007 to 2011.

In its study, the NTSB found that nearly 80 percent of wrong-way accidents happen at night and at high speeds. While 15 percent of the crashes studied involved a driver over age 70, about 60 percent of the accidents involved alcohol. In addition, wrong-way crashes are among the most dangerous auto accidents; 22 percent of wrong-way crashes are fatal, whereas less than 1 percent of all other highway accidents at the same time period are fatal, according to the NTSB.

Because of the danger presented by these crashes, the Georgia DOT is analyzing the impact of a new radar system used in Texas to notify law enforcement officials of wrong-way drivers, according to the Associated Press. Officials in Wisconsin are also testing a system that uses motion detectors to alert police when a driver goes the wrong way on a highway ramp, one of the places where wrong-way crashes are most likely to occur, the AP reported. To help reduce the occurrence of wrong-way accidents caused by drunk drivers, the NTSB recommends that all states require anyone convicted of drunk driving to use an ignition interlock device.

Legal recovery may be possible

If someone is injured by a drunk or otherwise negligent driver in a wrong-way crash, the victim may be able to sue the driver. Through a personal injury lawsuit, the victim may be able to recover damages for his or her medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, property damage and lost wages. If you have been hurt in an auto accident, contact a personal injury attorney with experience in car accident cases to help get the compensation you need.

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