On October 19, 2017, two people were critically injured when a car going the wrong way on Loop 1604 slammed into another motorist. While neither was killed, both drivers sustained significant harm and the road was closed down for hours. This is somewhat standard for wrong-way crashes; they do not happen very often, but when they do, it is often on busy roadways, and it often causes severe injury.
Statistics Are Revealing
The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) has made a study of such accidents, and their findings are in some ways unsurprising, but one might wonder about certain patterns. For example, statistics show that significantly more male drivers cause wrong-way accidents than female drivers, especially in situations where there were few other cars on the road. This is the case with the accident on Loop 1604, which involved only the wrong-way driver and the victim’s cars, taking place late at night.
Another notable characteristic of many wrong-way accidents is that between 50 and 75 percent of these type of crashes have a component of substance abuse – either alcohol or drugs are involved. As a result, injuries tend to be more severe, even if these types of accidents themselves are less frequent than someone simply losing control of their vehicle. This is also backed up by TTI data showing that the highest proportion of wrong-way crashes occurred during the 2:00 AM hour, which is when many if not most bars in Texas close.
Not a Slam Dunk
Despite the common thread of alcohol or drug use in many wrong-way accidents, it is important to understand that these cases are not easy to win. The mere correlation of such behavior with accidents does not mean beyond a reasonable doubt that the alcohol or drugs are causing the accidents. The presence of a controlled substance must be proven, as must the wrong-way driver’s negligence before the victim can obtain any kind of compensation for their injuries.
Texas does recognize the concept of negligence per se, however – that is, negligence which is established not by proving breach of duty, causation by defendant’s conduct, and harm suffered, but by the violation of a statute. Jurisprudence states that an “unexcused violation of a statute,” if that statute is designed to protect the person harmed by the violation, constitutes negligence per se. For example, if someone causes an accident due to driving under the influence, they have broken a statute and harmed someone that the statute was designed to protect (other motorists).
Ask a Car Accident Attorney
An auto accident can be devastating, especially if you did not cause it. If you have been victimized by someone else’s negligence, the passionate New Braunfels car accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm may be able to assist. Contact the office today at 888-392-0039 (toll-free) to set up an appointment.