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Wrong-way fatalities continue to be persistent threat on Virginia roads

Wrong-way fatalities continue to be a devastating and persistent threat in Virginia and throughout the United States. Drivers going the wrong way on paved roads has been an ongoing issue for many years.

In Virginia, fatalities caused by motorists driving in the wrong direction average 10.3 percent between 2015-2018, according to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Nationally, more states are seeing a dramatic increase in wrong-way fatalities.

Nationally, 2,008 deaths from wrong-way driving crashes on divided highways occurred between 2015 and 2018, an average of approximately 500 deaths a year, a 34 percent increase from the 375 deaths annually from 2010 to 2014. Wrong-way driver crashes increased with alcohol-impairment, older age, and driving without a passenger.

“Wrong-way crashes on divided highways are often fatal as they are typically head-on collisions,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “And unfortunately, as the data sho...

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