Three die in wrong-way collision on I-95 in Connecticut

On Tuesday, Dec. 11, a motorist drove the wrong way on I-95 southbound in Old Lyme, Connecticut, tragically colliding head-on with a vehicle driven in the correct direction. The three occupants in the correct-facing car died at the scene of the accident. The collision was so horrific that numerous motorists in the northbound lanes of I-95 crashed after witnessing the accident, closing the highway for hours.

The driver who caused the accident by driving the wrong way was taken by ambulance to a local medical facility. It is unknown why the driver was going the wrong way on the highway.

Wrong-way collisions

In many cases, wrong-way accidents occur when drivers enter an exit ramp in the incorrect direction. This negligent mistake leads to more risky driving practices, such as illegal u-turns in the median of a highway or use emergency turnarounds.

Wrong-way car accidents on interstates, expressways and other high-speed roadways are often fatal because they often cause head-on collisions. According to a 2012 study published in U.S. News and World Report, 22 percent of wrong-way collisions were fatal, compared with .3 percent for all other types of highway car crashes over the same analyzed period.

In the study, the National Transportation Safety Board reports that 360 people die in wrong-way collisions each year in the U.S. The board's study analyzed data from 1,566 crashes from 2004 to 2009.

The problem appears to be tied to the issue of impaired driving. In 59 percent of the wrong-way accidents, the wrong-way drivers had blood alcohol levels of more than twice the legal limit. Reducing drunk driving can aid in the fight against wrong-way driving fatalities and injuries as alcohol-impaired car accidents accounted for nearly 31 percent of the country's 32,000 motor vehicle fatalities in 2010, the NTSB reports.

To combat this issue, safety advocates have been lobbying states legislatures to pass more laws requiring ignition interlock devices for first-time drunk driving offenders. Some states already have some laws in place.

Help for victims

At this point, investigators are working to determine what led the Connecticut motorist to drive the wrong way on I-95. Unfortunately, the negligence of one driver can cause the wrongful death of many others.

If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident caused by a negligent motorist, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses.