If you have ever been driving on an interstate highway, like on I-64 or I-95, and suddenly noticed headlights coming in your direction, on your side of the highway, you experienced one of the scariest things that happens when driving on an interstate highway: a drunk or drugged wrong way driver! My wife was driving in broad daylight on Interstate 64 near Richmond, Virginia with my daughter when she suddenly noticed a lunatic driver coming straight towards her direction of travel in a different lane, and she watched several cars in what seemed like slow motion veering out of the way. All in broad daylight. Believe it or not more deaths and serious injuries occur then you think due to wrong way drivers operating their cars in the wrong direction. Many of these wrong way drivers are seriously drunk and cause terrible injuries or deaths.
One of my lawyer safety advocate colleagues and Injuryboard editor friend, Steve Lombardi, has written some interesting articles about wrong way driver safety steps that have been taken. Who would have thought that the German government has a safety plan that Steve Lombardi outlined in a major article on wrong way drivers that I excerpt below:
"Wrong-way drivers on the autobahn ("ghost drivers") trigger a radio announcement that interrupts whatever you’re listening to, warning you of the situation and that car’s approximate location. That way, you can pull off onto the shoulder and keep a close eye out for someone coming from the opposite direction at well over 100 mph on your side of the road.”
Geister Fahrer – Translates from German into "Ghost Driver;" a driver who drives on the wrong direction on an autobahn, often with headlights turned off at night. Usually a drunk driver but can also be a thrill seeker, suicide attempt, or horrendous driver error.
Lombardi also reviewed articles by the Washington State Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), which showed that “ the vast majority of wrong-way drivers correct their mistakes before causing a crash by simply turning around and heading in the right direction. But for unknown reasons some drivers, even when sober, head straight into oncoming traffic with devastating consequences.”
Another major article he wrote on drivers heading in the wrong direction on interstates was posted on Des Moines Injuryboard in November, 2008. Likewise, Brook Schuelke, an Austin Texas Injuryboard editor posted a wrong way driver article addressing this issue on the Austin, Texas area highways.
In November 2006 there was just such a head on collision caused by a wrong way driver of a Toyota Tacoma, on I-64 near York, Virginia (VA). The driver of the Ford Econoline van was killed in the wrong way wreck according to the VA State Police, Sgt. D.S. Carr.
Many of the personal injury lawyers who serve as editors on the Injuryboard blog network, take the time to search for creative ideas that are being looked at to solve serious injuries and to prevent wrongful death. I applaud Steve Lombardi for taking a different look at things and asking questions when he doesn’t know the answers. I personally had never heard of the phrase "ghost driver" nor have I heard of the German autobahn system to warn oncoming traffic. I plan to address wrong way drivers in a continuing series of articles. Maybe there are ways to save some lives.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border and handles car,truck,railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. Our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.