Wrong-Way Driver Causes Fatal Austin Crash
by lauraramos | October 10th, 2023 | Auto Accidents
A man was arrested following a deadly wrong-way crash in Austin on October 5. Wrong-way crashes are not common causes of car accidents, but they can be incredibly hazardous.
The Deadly Austin Car Accident
On Thursday, October 5, a man was arrested by Austin police after allegedly causing a deadly wrong-way accident near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The 44-year-old man is facing a second-degree felony charge.
The accident occurred in the early morning on East State Highway 71. The now-arrested driver was traveling west on the highway in a white Ford Excursion when he lost control of his vehicle and began driving east in the westbound lanes.
In the 1500 block of the highway, the Excursion struck a black Nissan Rogue that was traveling westbound. The Nissan struck another vehicle as a result; the Nissan driver was killed in the crash.
Witnesses told authorities that they saw the Excursion traveling the wrong way at a high rate of speed prior to the crash.
After the crash, the man accused of causing the wrong-way accident was seen walking away from the crash with injuries consistent with the incident. He later admitted to police that he had been driving the Excursion and had fled the scene. He also admitted that he had been drinking alcohol before driving. A field sobriety test was conducted, and the man was arrested for intoxication manslaughter.
How Dangerous Are Wrong-Way Crashes?
Wrong-way crashes might not be in the top-ten when it comes to causes of car accidents, but they’re still more common than you might think. In 2022, wrong-way crashes on one-way roads happened about once every seven hours in Texas.
Out of all of those accidents, less than 100 resulted in a fatality, accounting for roughly 7% of all Texas wrong-way crashes. While that might seem low, it’s still incredibly hazardous. Out of all Texas car accidents, less than 1% are deadly. That gives you some idea of how much more dangerous wrong-way crashes are in comparison. In fact, wrong-way crashes are roughly ten times deadlier than the average car accident.
How To Avoid Wrong-Way Crashes
The best way to avoid any sort of accident is to consider what causes those accidents. In the case of wrong-way accidents, there are a few common factors that contribute to the likelihood that a person will drive the wrong way on a one-way road:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while distracted
- Driving in poor weather conditions
- Driving with poor visibility
- Road signage issues
- Mechanical failures
- Advanced age
While there’s nothing that you can do to avoid some of the top causes of wrong-way crashes, you can do your part to only drive while you’re focused and able to see clearly.