Three people died in a fatal wrong-way accident on Interstate 81 in Susquehanna County on Saturday night when a pickup truck driving the wrong way in the southbound lanes crashed into a minivan carrying eight people. The driver of the pickup and two of the minivan occupants were killed in the crash and the other minivan occupants were all hurt in the crash on Interstate 81. Earlier that day another wrong-way crash occurred on Interstate 81 in Luzerne County. The wrong-way driver collided with a tractor-trailer near Wilkes-Barre. Alcohol is believed to have played a role in both crashes on I-81.
After many recent crashes involving wrong-way drivers on Pennsylvania highways, including one on I-81 near Clarks Summit in January that killed five people, WNEP News http://wnep.com/2016/05/03/stopping-wrong-way-drivers/ ran a story last week about a wrong-way driving warning detection system in place in Rhode Island that could possibly help prevent wrong-way crashes in Pennsylvania. In Rhode Island, if someone enters an off-ram in the wrong direction, they will immediately see flashing wrong way signs. If they continue past the signs, a photo and alert is automatically sent to state and local police and highway message boards are activated to alert oncoming traffic. The news reported that in the year since the systems have been in place, they have helped to detect 47 wrong way drivers, none of which resulted in a crash. Although the detection system is costly to implement, it may be worth it for Pennsylvania to look at as an added safety measure in preventing fatal wrong-way crashes.
215 wrong-way crashes occurred in Pennsylvania between 2010 and 2014, which resulted in 46 deaths. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found through its research of crash reports that wrong-way driving is a problem not only in Pennsylvania, but also in most of the country. The NTSB also found that a high percentage of wrong way driving crashes on highways cause severe or fatal injuries.
Common causes of wrong-way crashes include:
- Alcohol or drug impairment
- Driver fatigue
- Driver distraction
- Confusing road or ramp design
- Inadequate highway ramp signage
- Inadequate highway ramp lighting
If you were injured or a loved one killed in a wrong-way accident on a Pennsylvania highway, the accident attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli in Philadelphia or Wilkes-Barre can help you get the compensation you deserve. We have represented hundreds of accident victims throughout the state and are here for you when you need us. To speak to a Philadelphia wrong-way accident attorney call 215-575-9237 or for a Wilkes-Barre accident attorney call 570-714-HURT.