Accidents Due to Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road

Driving on the wrong side of the road can result in some of the most serious types of auto collisions. One common type of wreck that results from driving on the wrong side of the road is a head-on collision.  638 people were killed in head-on collisions in Texas in 2016. The forces of two vehicles heading directly into each other can cause tremendous damage. Additionally, vehicle rollovers can result from a vehicle swerving and leaving the pavement due to over correction, then attempting to come back on the roadway. These are equally as deadly.

Reasons People Drive on The Wrong Side of the Road

The Texas Transportation Code Sec. 545.051.  allows a person to drive on the wrong side of the road in limited circumstances, including emergencies and in order to pass on a single lane roadway that has a dotted center line for passing.  However, the driver is only permitted to cross that center dotted line if there is sufficient distance to get over, get around a vehicle and return safely to the proper lane of travel. Some of the reasons this does not always happen are:

  • Driver inattentiveness
  • Driver falls asleep and drifts across the center lane
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driver misjudges the distance of the approaching vehicle
  • Driver attempts a pass in areas of limited sight
  • Driver is in a rush

Texas law imposes a duty on the driver the maintain a single lane and not leave the proper lane unless it is safe to do so. This, anytime a driver is in the wrong lane when the collision occurs, that driver was negligent.

Ways to Avoid Head on Collisions

Obviously, staying out of the oncoming lane is one thing you can do to avoid head-on collisions. If you must leave the lane, slow down, look and be sure you can see sufficiently far up the road before you switch lanes. If you cannot see far enough ahead, do not switch into oncoming traffic. Another thing you can do to avoid these types of collisions is to leave plenty of space between the vehicle ahead of you and your vehicle so that you can clearly see any oncoming cars that might be considering making a passing maneuver and they can also see you.

More Information

Driving the wrong way is against the law. Failure to follow the law is negligence. If you or a loved one are a victim of a collision due to someone driving the wrong way, call us to discuss your legal options.  The consultation is free. 1-800-298-0111.