FLORIDA—As a result of most fatal wrong way driving crashes occurring in the center or left-hand lane, DHSMV is now encouraging drivers to “Stay Right at Night.”
Previously in 2015, there were 1,490 wrong way driving crashes in Florida, resulting in 1,454 injuries and 96 fatalities. In the majority of wrong way crashes, vehicles are hit head-on, resulting in 81 percent of all wrong way fatalities. Head-on collisions are some of the most dangerous and deadly crashes. In more than two-thirds of all wrong way crashes, the driver was either injured or killed.
According to DHSMV data, drivers in wrong way collisions aren’t always impaired, which is why it’s critical for drivers to be prepared and educate themselves on how to avoid being in a wrong way crash. In fact, in 2015, 51 percent of wrong way crashes noted the condition of the driver as normal. Drivers are urged to pay attention and comply with all posted street signs.
“In 2015, there were 1,490 crashes in Florida resulting from wrong way drivers as well as the tragic loss of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy John Kotfila earlier this year,” said Sheriff Sadie Darnell, President of the Florida Sheriffs Association.
“Wrong-way collisions are dangerous and often deadly, and driver education is critical to lowering the number of these incidents in our state,” said Winter Park Police Chief Brett Railey, President of the Florida Police Chiefs Association. “Our chiefs encourage Florida drivers to eliminate distractions when they get behind the wheel so their entire focus is on their driving. This will help us better protect everyone on the road.”
FDOT Secretary Boxold said, “Safety on our roads is top priority at FDOT. Partnerships with law enforcement are critical to reducing fatalities and injuries from wrong way crashes. We remind motorists to always drive sober and stay alert.”
DHSMV offers the following safety tips to avoid wrong way driving crashes:
1. Stay Right at Night to avoid crashes with wrong way drivers.
2. Call 911 immediately to report wrong way drivers. If a motorist sees a wrong way driver approaching, immediately reduce your speed and pull off the roadway.
3. Learn and obey all traffic signs. If a motorist drives past a wrong way sign, turn around as soon as it’s safe to do so.
4. Look for FDOT dynamic messaging signs for wrong way driver alerts.
5. When a motorist sees a posted red sign, think: “Stop.” “Do Not Enter.” “Wrong Way.”
6. Stay alert – do not drive distracted or impaired.
FDOT is doing its part by implementing various wrong way driving countermeasures, such as wrong way signage, roadway reflectors, large painted pavement markings to help motorists identify the proper entrance and exit ramps on the interstate, flashing signs at exit ramps with radar detection, and emergency alert signage when wrong way drivers are detected.
If you or a loved one were injured by the negligence and improper conduct of a wrong way driver, you may be able to take legal action. To learn more about your options, Call TRIPP LAW FIRM – Personal Injury Law at (407)850-8680 in Orange/Osceola/Seminole County, (863)666-0380 in Polk County, and (727)398-2900 in Pinellas/Pasco County, for an immediate, confidential and FREE Case Evaluation. There is NO Fee and NO Costs if we do not obtain a Recovery for YOU!
At the TRIPP LAW FIRM, we have the necessary experience to protect you and your family’s legal rights and pursue the appropriate damages. Don’t hesitate to call us. We answer our phones 24/7/365. The injury law team and staff private investigators at the TRIPP LAW FIRM are ready at a moment’s notice.
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DHSMV encourages drivers to Stay Right at Night, Florida Dept. of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (“DHSMV”)-Press Releases (Jul. 5, 2016), available at https://www.flhsmv.gov/2016/07/05/dhsmv-encourages-drivers-stay-right-night/.