Wrong-Way Driving Accidents in New York
In July of 2009, a 36-year old mother of two, drunk and high, was traveling south on the Taconic State Parkway at 70 mph. The problem was that she was in the northbound lane. She would eventually strike an oncoming car, killing herself and her four children passengers, as well as the two people in the other car. At the time, it was given the sad distinction of being the “deadliest crash on Westchester County’s roadways in the last 75 years.” In the eleven ensuing years since, that distinction has not changed.
Last year, there were at least a half-dozen, wrong-way incidents on local roadways. These incidents included a New York City woman who drove the wrong way while on the Sprain Brook Parkway in Greenburgh, and a White Plains man who was eventually stopped in Ardsley, after driving north on the southbound New York State Thruway.
The National Transportation Safety Board investigated wrong-way collisions back in 2012. The report concluded that although “wrong-way collisions occur relatively infrequently, accounting for only about 3 percent of accidents on high-speed divided highways, they are much more likely to result in fatal and serious injuries than any other types of highway accidents.”
New York State has taken some steps to minimize the occurrence of these deadly accidents. For example, on the Taconic State Parkway, recently called the deadliest road in New York, the State has upgraded signage to include enhanced “One Way,” “Do Not Enter” and “Wrong Way” signs. In addition, the signs have been upgraded to improve their daytime and nighttime visibility. These changes have been made on the Parkway in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and Columbia counties.
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