As wrong-way car crashes continue to cause death and injury in Florida and throughout the country, safety experts are taking steps to reduce the problem. Florida is joining Connecticut, Massachusetts and a number of other states in reducing the frequency of deadly wrong-way highway crashes through the employment of modern crash avoidance systems.
In addition to the minimum prevention measures such as DO NOT ENTER and WRONG WAY signs and reflective pavement markings required by the Federal Department of Transportation, the state is installing is Wrong-Way Vehicle Detection Systems (WWVDS), starting with certain I-4 interchanges. The upgrades are part of the I-4 “Beyond The Ultimate” improvement project, the mammoth, years-long construction project to finally get ahead of the perpetual traffic jam that is Central Florida’s central transportation artery.
Preventing Wrong-Way Car Crashes in Florida
The Florida Department of Transportation says the sophisticated WWVDS systems include signs outfitted with radar to detect cars going the wrong way, specifically, a vehicle entering an exit ramp. When the radar detects a car going the wrong way, it activates flashing lights to alert the driver and sends a notice to FDOT traffic management and law enforcement. At the same time, a wrong-way driver alert will be shown on electronic message boards along the interstate to warn other drivers.
According to the I-4 Improvement Project,
This first set of detection systems is being installed at these Orlando area I-4 interchanges:
- Central Florida Parkway
- Sand Lake Road (S.R. 482)
- Lake Mary Boulevard
- County Road 46A
- S.R. 46
- Orange Boulevard/U.S. 17-92
- Dirksen Drive
- Saxon Boulevard
Additional exchanges will be included as the project progresses.
According to studies, drivers who cause wrong-way car crashes are more likely to be elderly, inexperienced, or inebriated, such as those under the influence of alcohol. Because it is difficult to see signs at night, most deadly wrong-way car crashes occur during this period. Furthermore, there is an above-average number of these accidents on weekends, presumably due to increased alcohol intake.
FDOT advises motorists who see an alert about a wrong-way driver to first, reduce their speed. Then move over to the right and proceed with extreme caution. If a wrong-way driver is approaching, immediately pull off the roadway and call 911.
Like most car accidents, wrong-way car crashes are usually due to driver error, negligence, or carelessness. If you’ve been injured in a Florida car accident, call 866-730-3508 for a free consultation with an Orlando car accident attorney at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm. Convenient locations throughout Central Florida.