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Wrong Way Car Crashes Claim 11 Lives in California and Florida

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Wrong Way Car Crashes Kill 11 in Two Different States

Two wrong way car crashes, one that occurred in California and the other in Florida, have claimed 11 lives.  Five people died in Florida and six were killed in California, but both were caused by drivers who were going the wrong way on the highway, resulting in head-on collisions.  Although wrong way accidents account for less than 3% of all car accidents, they carry a hefty fatality rate–the incidence of death from a wrong way car accident in 27 times greater than for other types of car accidents.  Furthermore, alcohol was a factor in 60% of wrong-way crashes, according to the same report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Grisly Details of Wrong Way Accidents Demonstrate Seriousness of Driving Under the Influence

On Sunday: in Florida, a Ford Expedition SUV was driving the wrong way on Interstate 275 in Tampa when it collided with a Hyundai Sonata around 2 a.m.  The driver of the SUV and all four people in the Sonata were killed.  In California, six people were killed in a pre-dawn crash on the 60 Freeway in Diamond, CA.  A Chevy Camaro was traveling eastbound on a westbound lane when it struck a Ford Explorer, which was then hit by another vehicle.  The driver of the Camaro was seriously injured and two other women were killed in the accident, in addition to four people in the other vehicles.  The driver of the Camaro was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, causing great bodily injury and death and manslaughter.  Below is a raw video capturing the events prior to the fiery crash in California (please be warned; content may be disturbing to some viewers due to profanity and violence of a car crash):

Mechanisms of Wrong Way Accidents Include Age, Time of Day, Alcohol Impairment and Making U-Turns

In the report generated by the NTSB in 2012, the mechanisms of wrong way crashes were uncovered.  The researchers found that alcohol abuse was not the only thing to blame, although a high level of intoxication was another factor in wrong way crashes.  In fact, the research suggests that wrong way drivers under the influence tend to be double the rate of impairment in most states (.15 blood alcohol content).  Other factors included age, with elderly drivers above the age of 70 accounting for 15% of drivers in wrong way crashes; time of day, with most wrong way crashes occurring between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. and on weekends; and making illegal U-turns such as using the emergency lane on the highway.

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