Safety Tips To Defend Against A Wrong-Way Driver

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Legally reviewed by Alex Uriarte on June 1, 2022 Alex Uriarte is a member of the 1-800-Injured network.

There is nothing scarier on the road than realizing that there is a vehicle headed straight toward you, and this is especially true when you are on a highway or freeway where speeds are high, and there is little room for error. Trying to decide what to do in the moment can lead to serious consequences, especially if a driver panics. It is important to know what to do if you find yourself in this dangerous situation.

Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to defend against a wrong-way driver and avoid a head-on collision.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

Stay Calm and Avoid Making Any Sudden Movements

If you see a wrong-way driver coming toward you, stay calm and avoid making any sudden movements like swerving. This will help you maintain control of your vehicle and avoid an accident and could help you make a safer decision about what to do next.

Move to the Right

If you can, safely move your vehicle to the right-hand side of the road. This will give the wrong-way driver more room to pass and may help avoid a collision. You may be worried about damaging your car by running over a curb, but taking decisive action to get completely out of the wrong-way driver’s path is the most important thing for you to focus on.

Call 911

If you can safely do so, call 911 and report the wrong-way driver. Give them as much information as possible, such as where you are, where you saw the driver enter the highway, and what direction they are heading. Alerting the authorities quickly can help save lives and ensure that everyone is safe. Never assume that someone else has called. DO NOT try to follow the driver or stop them — leave it to the professionals.

Drive Defensively

Even if you follow all of these tips, there is still a chance you could be involved in an accident with a wrong-way driver. Drive defensively at all times and be mindful of the possibility that a wrong-way driver could enter your path. Be extra cautious when driving at night or during periods of low visibility, as this is when wrong-way accidents are most likely to occur.

Do Not Swerve

Swerving out of the way of a wrong-way driver can actually put you in more danger. You could lose control of your vehicle or end up in oncoming traffic. Instead, slow down and come to a stop if possible, making sure that there are no pedestrians, cyclists, or others on the road who may be at risk of being struck by your vehicle as you attempt to move to safety.

Use Your Horn

Use your horn to warn the wrong-way driver that they are coming toward you. If they do not respond, you can flash your headlights at them as well. However, it is important that you do not rely on this tactic to stay safe because if the driver does not realize they are going the wrong way, your horn or flashing lights may do little or nothing to make them realize their mistake. The hope, though, is that the wrong-way driver is simply confused and not aware that they are going the wrong way. Your lights and horn may help them realize their mistake and get back onto the right side of the road.

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

Pay attention to your surroundings at all times when you are driving. This will help you spot a wrong-way driver before they get too close to you. It is important for all drivers to keep their attention and focus on the road, including further down the road, to hopefully notice something dangerous like a driver heading in the wrong lane and act quickly without needing to make a split-second decision. Always be alert for signs that indicate a wrong-way driver may be present, such as headlights coming towards you in your traffic lane.

Look For an Escape Route

If you see a wrong-way driver coming toward you, look for an escape route. This could be a side street or a parking lot. If you can, get out of the way of the wrong-way driver before they get to you. Being aware of your surroundings and staying mindful of what is at the furthest point in the road you can see will buy you valuable time to recognize the dangerous situation, slow your vehicle, and move to the escape route without swerving or putting others in additional danger

Don’t Block The Wrong Lane Driver From Passing

If you can’t safely move out of the way, don’t block the wrong-way driver from passing. You may think that you are helping by blocking them from going any further, but all you are doing is putting yourself in more danger. The wrong-way driver could hit you, or they could force their way past you and cause an auto accident in Miami, FL. If you can’t get out of the way, just let them pass.

Move Over and Let The Wrong Way Driver Pass

If you are able to safely move over, do so and let the wrong-way driver pass. This will help them get back onto the correct side of the road and out of your way. It is important that you only attempt to do this if it is safe, as you don’t want to cause an accident yourself.

Never Swerve Into Oncoming Traffic

Once you have spotted a wrong-way driver, it is important that you stay in your lane. Do not swerve into oncoming traffic or into another lane just to get out of the way of the wrong-way driver. This could cause an accident, and it may even make the situation worse.

Put Obstacles Between You And the Wrong Way Driver

If you can, put obstacles between you and the wrong-way driver. This could be a telephone pole, a median, a parked vehicle, or even a guardrail. By putting something between you and the wrong-way driver, you are giving yourself a better chance of avoiding a direct collision, even if an accident is unavoidable. Anything that can reduce the force and impact of the crash will help keep you and your passengers safer in this dangerous situation.

By following these safety tips, you can help protect yourself from a wrong-way driver. Remember always to stay alert and aware of your surroundings, and never hesitate to take action if you see a wrong-way driver heading towards you. By being proactive and prepared, you can help keep yourself safe on the road.

In a Crash With a Wrong-Way Driver? Contact 1-800-Injured Today

Unfortunately, there is no magic safety tip that guarantees that you will always be safe from other drivers’ reckless or negligent actions, which is why it is also important to know that there is an easy way to connect with a personal injury attorney.

1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. We will help you find an experienced car accident attorney in your area who will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve. Call us today for a free, no-risk consultation with a proven personal injury attorney.