A vehicle crossed over into oncoming traffic and crashed into another vehicle Sunday night in Dickson County, killing one person and seriously injuring two others.
Per a report by WSMV.com, the crashed happened at around 7 p.m. in the westbound lanes of Highway 49 near Wolfe Branch Road in Vanleer, Tennessee.
An investigation by the Tennessee Highway Patrol revealed that a vehicle driven by a 37-year-old woman veered over into oncoming traffic and struck another car on its front passenger side. She was injured in the accident, but the severity of her injuries is unknown.
The 41-year-old driver of the other vehicle was also injured in the crash, and his 60-year-old passenger from White Bluff was killed in the accident.
After an initial investigation of the crash, the THP says that criminal charges are pending.
What Causes Vehicles to Drift into Opposing Traffic?
Some interstates and highways in Tennessee separate lanes that have traffic moving in opposite directions with concrete barriers and guard rails, but others may have only small grassy medians or painted lines to divide traffic. When that’s the case, certain situations can cause vehicles to drift over into the path of other cars, creating a significant risk of head-on collisions and other serious crashes that can result in critical injuries.
Vehicles may drift into lanes of oncoming traffic for the following reasons:
- Distracted driving
Drivers who text behind the wheel or do anything that takes their attention off the roadway are growing in number each year, as are the number of accidents that they cause. Vehicles traveling at around 55 mph travel the length of a football field in the time that it takes a driver to read or send one text message. That goes to show how easy it is for vehicles to cross several lanes of traffic and even cross medians in a matter of seconds when drivers look away from the road.
- Drowsy driving
Driving while sleepy, fatigued, or exhausted is dangerous. Safe driving requires uninterrupted focus and concentration on the road, and drivers who are tired may have reduced attention spans, reaction times, and critical thinking skills. In addition, exhausted and sleepy drivers may be at risk of highway hypnosis or even falling asleep behind the wheel. Drivers who feel tired or exhausted should never get behind the wheel, and if they suddenly feel sleepy while driving, they should pull over immediately and find a safe place to rest.
- Drunk driving
In addition to being a primary cause for many deadly accidents, drunk driving is also one of the most common causes of wrong-way accidents—including those where drivers drift into the path of oncoming traffic. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol may suffer from both distraction and drowsiness, in addition to several other symptoms that reduce their ability to drive safely. In some cases, intoxicated and impaired drivers may even be unaware that their vehicles are drifting into opposing traffic, especially on roadways without medians or clear divisions between lanes.
Whether you’re driving on an interstate, a highway, an urban street, or a rural road, keeping your vehicle within the confines of your lane is of utmost importance. Not only will that reduce your risks of a wrong-way crash, but it will also reduce your risk of being involved in any type of accident. Finally, it’s also vital to avoid distractions, driving while sleepy, and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs any time you get behind the wheel.
If you or someone you know was hurt in a wrong-way or lane-crossing auto accident that was caused by a negligent driver, it’s important that you get in touch with an experienced law firm right away. At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville car accident attorneys have more than 20 years of experience helping injured victims get compensation for their accident-related expenses. We never take shortcuts, and we know what it takes to stay one step ahead of the insurance company throughout the entire process.
Contact us today. Call (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form.