Action planned to prevent wrong-way car accidents in Tennessee

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Accidents on Tennessee highways involving wrong-way drivers have become a concern to the Tennessee Department of Transportation. It has been determined that most of these car accidents happen at cloverleaf interchanges because of the proximity of the exit and entrance ramps. While plans are being devised to safeguard these interchanges, it was reported that the cloverleaf format is no longer being used when junctions are designed.

Two wrong-way car accidents occurred this month, resulting in three injured motorists and one fatality, respectively. Another devastating accident was prevented when an officer reportedly stopped a driver as he or she was entering the highway in the wrong direction. According to TDOT statistics, most wrong-way accidents occur at night and are mostly caused by drivers who are distracted or under the influence of alcohol.

Despite additional reflectors and warning signs that were installed at all cloverleaf interchanges in 2013, wrong-way accident numbers did not decline. TDOT says it is now studying examples of successful manners in which other states have treated the problem. One of the ways that has shown positive results is the installation of double wrong-way warning signs in which two signs are posted — one above the other — at 7-foot and 4-foot heights. This will form part of a trial at one major intersection, and, if successful, other cloverleaf intersections across the state will receive the same treatment.

Unfortunately, this is an expensive project and may take years to complete, and, in the meantime, distracted or drunk Tennessee drivers will likely continue to enter the highways in the wrong direction. The resulting car accidents are usually head-on collisions with catastrophic or fatal consequences. Medical expenses and/or end-of-life expenses can ruin the financial stability of those involved in such accidents or that of the surviving families. If there is enough proof of negligence on the part of other parties, financial relief may be pursued. By filing personal injury or wrongful death claims in civil court, compensation may be obtained if claims are successfully presented.

Source: wsmv.com, “TDOT hopes changes will cut down on wrong-way crashes“, Carley Gordon, May 27, 2015