Wrong-Way Driver Nearly Hits Cookeville Police Officer, Arrested for DUI
A Gainesboro woman was arrested in Cookeville, Tennessee, on Saturday after driving the wrong way on Interstate 40 in the eastbound lanes and nearly colliding with a patrol car driven by a Cookeville police officer.
According to a report by the Herald-Citizen, the officer responded to a call of a white PT Cruiser driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-40. As he approached the vehicle, the PT Cruiser nearly struck his patrol car head-on.
After stopping the vehicle, the officer noticed that the driver smelled strongly of alcohol. After asking her to perform field sobriety tests, the officer placed her under arrest for DUI and reckless endangerment.
A male passenger in her vehicle was also arrested for DUI by allowance.
The Cookeville car accident lawyers at Matt Hardin Law are glad that no one was injured in this dangerous situation and we hope that police are able to get drunk and wrong-way drivers off the road before they cause accidents in the future.
What Makes Wrong Way Drivers so Dangerous to Other Motorists?
Wrong way drivers pose major risks to themselves, their passengers, and other motorists for several reasons, including:
- The risk of high-speed head-on collisions
Head-on collisions are among the most dangerous types of car accidents. Because they involve two vehicles colliding at impact points that generate enormous amounts of force, drivers and passengers are much more likely to suffer serious injuries to their head, neck, shoulders, spine, and chest. Head-on collisions that occur at high speeds—which are more common on interstates and highways—can often lead to lifelong disabilities like pain and paralysis, and some can even prove to be fatal for the occupants of the vehicles involved.
- The risk of accidents while avoiding the wrong-way driver
Seeing a wrong-way driver on the interstate or highway can cause drivers to swerve out of harm’s way—especially if the vehicle is approaching at high speeds. While moving out of the way can be a life-saving maneuver, it can also lead to other drivers causing other accidents due to sideswiping vehicles or simply losing control of their own vehicles. Drivers who notice wrong-way vehicles approaching them should slow down and pull over as far as possible onto the right shoulder and allow the vehicle to pass while also calling 911 and telling the operator the wrong-way driver’s location.
- The risk posed to police officers tasked with stopping the wrong-way driver
When police receive reports of wrong-way drivers, it’s their responsibility to locate the driver and stop their vehicle before a serious accident occurs. However, police put themselves in harm’s way when attempting to stop wrong-way drivers, as they often have to contend with traffic congestion to reach the vehicle and the dangers of being in the vehicle’s path when it reaches their location. Police officers often use spike strips or blockades to stop wrong-way drivers, but drivers who are heavily intoxicated may fail to see or recognize these obstacles, putting the lives of responding officers in danger.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Cookeville car accident attorneys know that while rare, wrong-way drivers pose one of the most significant risks to drivers on all roadways, ranging from two-lane rural roads to multi-lane highways in urban areas. That’s why it’s so important to stay alert at all times when you’re behind the wheel and act quickly if you see a wrong-way driver headed in your direction.
If you or a loved one was injured by a wrong-way driver in Tennessee, our legal team may be able to help you get compensation for your accident-related expenses, including medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repair costs. Get in touch with us today by dialing (931) 754-1188 or filling out a free online form. The sooner you contact us after your accident, the better your chances are of getting the money you deserve.