Yesterday, Austin saw yet another fatal wreck caused by a driver going the wrong way on one of our highways. In this round, driver John McClintock was arrested for driving the wrong way on Mopac, where he is alleged to have hit and killed Domonick Turner.
Sadly, this type of thing happens way too frequently. It seems like this should be a scenario that never plays out. But over the years, Austin has seen a number of wrecks where this happens. While I’ve written on these types of wrecks for years, the frequency really hit home when my wife called me one morning telling me that she was shaken up and pulled off the road because a driver crossed the median of IH 35 and almost hit her head on.
But that was an unusual situation. Yesterday’s wreck had the two main hallmarks of most wrong way crashes: (1) alcohol is involved; and (2) the wreck happened in the wee hours of the day.
Sadly, these wrecks are almost always serious because of the nature of head on collisions and the fact that there is almost nothing a victim can do to avoid the wrecks.
However, there are some actions that road designers can take to make these types of wrecks less likely to occur. I’ve written extensively about these potential solutions, and you can find those articles by searching this site.