Wrong-Way Accidents in L.A.

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

What causes wrong-way collisions?

Recently, four people were killed in two different wrong-way car accidents in Los Angeles.  The first accident occurred on the 118 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley.  Authorities report that a 30-year-old man was heading east in the westbound carpool lane after midnight.  He collided with another vehicle, killing the driver and critically injuring a passenger.

A short time later, another wrong-way crash occurred in the southbound lanes of the 605 Freeway in Irwindale.  Officials report that a 35-year-old woman entered the freeway using the off-ramp and drove north, hitting another vehicle head-on. She was killed in the crash, as was the driver of the other vehicle.  A passenger was additionally injured.  At this time, both crashes are under investigation and it appears that drugs or alcohol played a role in the Irwindale accident.

Causes of Wrong-Way Accidents

Wrong-way collisions are uncommon, but when they do occur, the result is often catastrophic.  These accidents involve two vehicles that are both traveling at high rates of speed and usually collide head-on.  With little time to brake, wrong-way crashes generally result in significant force upon impact and intrusion into both vehicles. Catastrophic injuries or death may result, with front seat passengers the most at-risk of critical injuries.

The number one cause of wrong-way accidents is the use of drugs or alcohol.  Intoxicated drivers are likely to become disoriented and may enter roadways or freeway ramps traveling in the wrong direction.  Whenever a wrong-way crash occurs, officials will need to closely investigate the crash for evidence of driver intoxication. The victims of a wrong-way accident should consult with an attorney right away to protect their legal rights.

In addition to alcohol and drug use, other common causes of wrong-way accidents include driver distraction, improperly placed road signs, poor lighting, unmarked roads or freeway ramps, and drivers unfamiliar with the area.  At times, a few of these factors combine to cause a wrong-way collision.  It is important that any wrong-way crash be thoroughly investigated.  Wrong-way accidents often leave the victims with tremendous medical expenses and related losses.  The victims of wrong-way accidents deserve justice from the driver or other party responsible for their injuries and financial losses.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.