A vehicle entered the eastbound lanes of Interstate 840 heading in the wrong direction early Sunday morning, resulting in a head-on collision that injured two people.
Per a report by WKRN.com, the accident occurred at around 6 a.m. near the Carter’s Creek exit in Williamson County. The Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated the crash and determined that a 26-year-old woman entered I-840 heading in the wrong direction.
Shortly after, her Honda CR-Z crashed head-on into a Ford F-150 pickup truck driven by a 28-year-old man. Both drivers were transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center by ambulance to receive treatment for their injuries, which are described as non-life-threatening.
Law enforcement officers closed the eastbound lanes of I-840 for around three hours as emergency responders worked to treat the victims, investigate the crash, and clear the scene. They have since reopened.
The THP reports that the driver of the CR-Z may face charges for her role in the crash.
How to Avoid Wrong-Way Accidents
When drivers enter roadways traveling in the wrong direction, the chances of them causing a serious accident are high—especially if it happens at night or during times of low visibility. In many cases, drivers simply don’t have enough time to react to avoid serious and often fatal head-on collisions with wrong-way drivers.
While rare, it’s important for all drivers to be aware of the dangers of wrong-way collisions and understand the best ways to avoid them, which include:
- Pay close attention to road signs before turning or entering a highway or interstate.
If you’re driving in an urban area with many one-way streets, be careful before turning and always check for a one-way street sign. These signs are located on street corners and on traffic lights. In addition, you should also pay close attention when you’re approaching and entering a highway or interstate on-ramp. Many wrong-way accidents occur when drivers enter these high-speed roads via exit ramps.
- Never drive while under the influence of alcohol.
Many wrong-way accidents are associated with alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol impairs judgment, blurs vision, and makes drivers more prone to taking risks while they’re behind the wheel. That can result in drivers being more likely to enter roads traveling in the wrong direction, especially if they’re drowsy and traveling late at night or early in the morning when there are fewer vehicles on the road.
- Watch for special signs and instructions when traveling through construction zones.
Construction zones can occasionally feature unusual lane shifts and merging patterns, and drivers may become confused, especially at night when visibility is limited. Always be on the lookout for special instructions when driving through road work zones and watch for the presence of cones and traffic barriers to avoid inadvertently entering the opposite lanes of traffic.
- Avoid driving while drowsy or distracted—especially on roads without physical barriers.
Many roadways in Middle Tennessee have nothing separating opposite lanes of traffic except a yellow line of paint. Vehicles can enter the wrong lane and collide head-on with another vehicle in a split-second, and drivers who are drowsy or distracted face that risk every time they get behind the wheel. If you feel sleepy or need to send a text message, pull over to a safe location. It could save your life and the lives of others.
Drivers age 70 or older are at especially high risk for wrong-way accidents as the National Transportation Safety Board finds that drivers in this age group are overrepresented for this type of crash. This may be due to declining vision and increased difficulty reading street signs. Regardless of your age and visual acuity, it’s important to always follow the tips above to decrease your risks of entering a roadway traveling in the wrong direction.
Were you or someone you know injured in a wrong-way crash caused by another driver? If so, the Nashville auto accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law can investigate the accident and determine if the driver was negligent. Then, we can build a claim that’s designed to maximize your compensation for things like medical bills and lost wages. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can assist you and your family—just dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form.