Patrol Says Much Greater Chance Of Death In Wrong-Way Crashes

The Ohio State Highway Patrol finds wrong-way crashes on highways are rare, but can be fatal.(Photo: Ohio State Highway Patrol)
The Ohio State Highway Patrol finds wrong-way crashes on highways are rare, but can be fatal.(Photo: Ohio State Highway Patrol)

A new report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol finds that while wrong-way crashes on divided highways like interstates are rare, they’re much more likely to result in fatalities.

The patrol studied 60 crashes between January 2011 and April 2013 and found that 31 people died in the collisions. There also were 85 non-fatal injuries.

Lieutenant D.J. Smith is commander of the Columbus District Highway Patrol post.

“If you’re involved in a crash with a wrong-way driver – either you being the driver or being struck by one, you are a hundred times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than if you were in a regular crash,” Smith says.

Smith says wrong way crashes are deadly because of the high impact speeds in head-on collisions.

When meeting an on-coming driver, Smith says, the best response is to reduce your speed as quickly as possible.

“Just try to slow your speed as quickly and as safely as you can. Because if a crash is going to be inevitable, you want to make that impact speed as low as you possibly can,” Smith says.

The report indicates that less than one-half percent of all crashes on Ohio roadways were fatal.

The study also says that most wrong-way collisions occurred on interstates and that four out of five occur at night.

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