Wrong-Way Driving Accidents in Baltimore

Wrong-way driver accidents are a terrifying experience. While driving down a one-way highway or street, you see another vehicle heading straight toward you. You may try to swerve, but there is little you can do to avoid the wrong-way accident. The accident victim and family must somehow find a way to recover. At the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt we aggressively represent people who have suffered serious injuries and families of fatal accident victims. Our attorneys are committed to helping our clients obtain the medical care and compensation they need to rebuild their lives.

Wrong-way or counterflow driving happens when an individual drives against the regular traffic flow. This can occur on parking lots, garages, one-way or two-way roads, and most dangerously on interstates.

In most cases, wrong-way driving happens due to missed traffic signs or markings, unfamiliarity with the road, or impairment. In rarer cases, it may occur when the driver is on a thrill-finding mission, suicide attempt, or seeking a shortcut.

While wrong-way accidents in Baltimore are uncommon, they are at-risk of being more fatal than other road collisions. All drivers should be extra careful, practice defensive driving, and keep handy the phone number of an experienced Baltimore wrong-way car accident attorney. We will take a closer look at wrong-way accident causes, injuries, and rights to compensation.

Causes of Wrong-Way Driving in Maryland

Wrong-way driving auto accidents are usually due to driver error. Such mistakes occur due to various reasons, but the leading causes of wrong-way driving include:

  • Driving under the influence: Intoxicated driving due to drugs or alcohol is among the most common causes of wrong-way accidents. Intoxication causes poor judgment and vision impairment and affects reaction time and other essential driving skills needed to avoid entering a road on the wrong side.
  • Drowsy driving: Driving when feeling drowsy or exhausted is unsafe. Drowsy drivers may miss vital road markings or veer across the center lane. You should stay fresh and alert behind the wheel so you can react when facing potential wrong-way collisions.
  • Distracted driving: There are various reasons a driver can be distracted while behind the wheel, including texting, talking on the phone, eating, or changing stations on the radio. Distracted drivers can easily take a wrong turn without noticing and only snap back to reality when they are on a collision course with an oncoming vehicle.
  • Bad weather: It is usually hard for drivers to see the road when it is raining or there is heavy fog. Road signs and markings may be obscured when driving in these conditions. You should drive slowly and more cautiously.
  • Obstructed road signs: Sometimes, wrong-way driving happens if the road signs are missing, covered-up or vandalized. For example, if a road sign is not replaced after being knocked down, or week overgrowth hides the road signs, it becomes harder for drivers to know when they are going the wrong way. The government
    agency responsible for road maintenance could be held liable if they did not address these conditions in a timely manner and a wrong-way car wreck occurs.
  • Poor lighting: Poorly-lit roads constitute a significant cause of wrong-way car accidents especially at night. We rely on street lights and headlights to illuminate road signs and markers but when neither are in use, they can contribute to a head-on collision that is usually avoidable. Drivers found negligent may not use headlights at night, and the agency in charge of road maintenance may be found at-fault for having adequate working street lamps.
  • Older drivers: According to the National Transportation Safety Board, 15% of wrong-way car accidents in the United States involve a driver over the age of 70. Older drivers often struggle with physical or cognitive impairment, leading to them becoming confused and drive into the wrong lane. Many older individuals face significant mental challenges that lead to confusion like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, older drivers often have poor eyesight and slower reflexes, meaning that they may have difficulty seeing that they are in the wrong lane, and they may struggle to return to the correct lane promptly.
  • Reckless driving: Different forms of reckless driving can lead to a serious or fatal wrong-way accident. Some forms of reckless driving include speeding around corners and passing vehicles unsafely. Speeding around a corner can cause the driver to lose control of their vehicle and veer into oncoming traffic by mistake. Passing vehicles by traveling the wrong lane is highly dangerous because a driver may hit a car driving in the opposite direction head-on.

What To Do if You See a Wrong-Way Driver

If you are driving and see a wrong-way driver, slow down and move away as far as possible from the vehicle. Do not follow the wrong-way driver even if they nearly collide with you. If possible, turn on your hazard lights and call 911 so to report the vehicle to the police to help prevent an auto accident.

You can avoid being hit by someone driving against traffic on an interstate highway by being vigilant about watching your visual horizon. While driving at night, use your vehicle’s headlights to illuminate the road and any oncoming cars without their lights on.

Common Serious Injuries Caused by Wrong-Way Driving

Wrong-way auto accidents often result in incredibly serious injuries because of the heavy frontal impact that occurs when two vehicles hit each other head-on. Some common injuries that occur after wrong-way accidents include:

  • Head trauma
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Facial injuries
  • Fractured bones
  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Compression injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Severed limbs
  • Crushed torso
  • Lacerations
  • Severe bruising

The initial injuries one sustains in a wrong-way accident can lead to a lifetime of serious consequences. Injuries could lead to severe scarring and disfigurement, and they can also result in a victim losing a limb. Additionally, the victim of a Baltimore wrong-way accident could also suffer from a permanent physical or cognitive impairment, such as paralysis or brain damage.

Recovering from such injuries can result in tens of thousands of dollars in bills when considering medical treatment, equipment, and procedures. Our team of personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt can serve as your legal representation throughout the claims process to help guide you to just compensation.

What To Do if You Are Involved in a Wrong-Way Collision

You should contact a wrong-way accident Baltimore car accident lawyer as quickly as possible after you receive your medical treatment and you speak to the authorities. An attorney can start assessing your case, gathering evidence, negotiating your case with the insurance companies as soon as you give the green light for representation.

How To Prevent Wrong-Way Accidents

Wrong-way accidents sometimes take people by surprise, especially if there is poor visibility. Other times, stunned drivers can see a motor vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road or against traffic from a distance. For each circumstance, there are steps you can take to try to prevent this type of collision:

  • Never drive sleepy: Drink coffee, an energy drink, travel with a companion who will engage you in conversation, stay over at a friend’s place, or rent a hotel room. Being alert is essential to preventing wrong-way car collision.
  • Pay close attention when driving late at night: This is when it is more likely for drunk drivers to make an appearance.
  • Drive on the right side of the road: While it does have slower drivers, people who are driving against oncoming traffic will usually stay on their right side, making an accident more likely on the left lanes. This is true, especially at night.
  • Avoid distracted driving: This applies to all types of car accident. Every text message can wait. If your GPS is confusing you, set up voice commands at a reasonable volume. Ignore billboards unless your car is at a full stop.
  • Leave plenty of distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you: At the risk of sounding paternalistic, this is one of the most practical pieces of advice we can provide to drivers. If the car in front of you gets into an accident, it gives you additional time to maneuver around it and avoid a collision with them. Besides, driving too close may result in being cites with a traffic infraction
  • Pay attention to family members with impairing conditions: If you know that a loved one suffers from a health issue that does not allow them to drive safely, take preventive measures so they do not travel alone.

What Type of Compensation Can I Receive From a Wrong-Way Accident?

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt will act quickly to begin building your case. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, establish liability, and place a value on the full amount of your losses. We will then seek the best possible settlement or jury award for you.

While some wrong-way drivers are simply confused, others are drunk or under the influence of drugs. We have experience representing victims of drunk driver accidents and will seek to obtain maximum compensation. This includes, when possible, damages from the hospitality establishment or social host who served alcohol to the drunk wrong-way driver.

In filing a personal injury claim, the injured victim seeks compensatory damages for the injuries they sustained as a result of a wrong-way accident. The purpose of compensatory damages is to reimburse the victim for the harm they suffered as a result of the accident, essentially restoring that individual to the state they were in prior to the wrong-way accident.

Compensation in a wrong-way accident claim may include:

  • Medical expenses that are a result of the accident.
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Lost earnings due to time off from work
  • Lost sick and/or vacation time
  • Lost of consortium or companionship

Some damages, including medical bills and lost earnings, have an exact monetary value. Other damages, including emotional pain and suffering and mental anguish, are immeasurable and the value of these must be estimated by the courts.


Wrong-way accidents are one of the most devastating types of crashes. These auto collisions can leave victims with serious injuries that result in ongoing medical care and lost wages. In addition, the driver may not be insured or have adequate insurance coverage.

If you were injured in a wrong-way car crash in Baltimore, or anywhere in Maryland, call the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt at 443-844-1528 today to protect your rights to compensation. We are available day or night, 24/7/365.