Wrong-way drivers sometimes get played for laughs in television and movies. However, they are no laughing matter when you actually see someone driving the wrong way down the highway.

What causes drivers to end up on the wrong side of the highway?

Sometimes a driver simply gets confused, mistaking an off-ramp for an on-ramp because they’re tired, unfamiliar with the area, inexperienced or suffering from some form of mental disability, like dementia. Most of the time, however, wrong-way drivers are impaired due to drugs or alcohol. That’s the reason that most wrong-way accidents happen on the weekend and in the evenings, when people are most likely to be leaving the bars.

How do you avoid ending up in a wreck with a wrong-way driver?

According to AAA, there are some smart moves to make when you’re thinking about the potential for this problem:

  • Avoid the highway during the times when wrong-way drivers are most likely to be around, especially if you’re in an area where there are a lot of restaurants and bars.
  • Stick to the right lane on the highway. Most wrong-way drivers will be in the left lane because they perceive it as their “right.”
  • If you see a wrong-way driver, pull over as far to the right as possible and stop. Do not swerve into other lanes or slam on your brakes in the road.
  • Turn on your hazards, flash your headlights and honk your horn, but don’t chase after the wrong-way driver.
  • Call 911. If possible, give the operator the make, model and location of the vehicle and any other identifying information.

Despite all your efforts, you can still end up in a serious crash with a wrong-way driver. If it happens, find out more about your right to compensation for your injuries and losses. An attorney can make sure that the claims process is kept fair.