Earlier this month, a horrific wrong-way accident occurred in Old Bridge on Route 9. Photos of the accident show the front of an SUV pushed so far into the car, the windshield is warped and the entire engine has been crushed into the front seat. The other car is in worse condition. The roof is missing entirely, as are both of the driver-side doors. The front is a mangled mess and only one seat remains in the front area of the car. Three died in the accident, while two suffered from serious injuries.
Wrong Way Accident on Route 9 Killed Three People, Injured Two
That afternoon, a 45-year-old man was driving his SUV on Route 9, going south. Very suddenly, his SUV crossed through the center median and onto the northbound lanes. He hit the car in a wrong-way accident. The head-on collision killed both the driver of the car and the passenger sitting immediately behind the driver. Both the front-seat and the back-seat passengers on the passenger side of the car survived, but were seriously injured in the accident.
Authorities are still unsure what could have caused the SUV driver to cross the median and enter the northbound lanes without slowing down. It could have been a variety of factors, including a mechanical error, distracted driving, speeding or any combination of these factors. However, most wrong-way accidents typically occur at night between midnight to 5:00 a.m., and most occur when a driver is under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Additionally, wrong-way accidents tend to happen on highways with unusual entrance ramp or exit ramp designs.
How Can Wrong-Way Accidents Be Prevented?
The cause of this particular wrong-way accident on Route 9 is still under investigation. However, it is certain that these types of car accidents tend to be more devastating due to the high speeds and the fact the majority are head-on collisions. Additionally, most victims of wrong-way accidents usually don’t see the wrong-way driver until it’s too late make proper evasive maneuvers.
However, there are measures the state can take to help prevent these types of car accidents. Adding more signs to long stretches of highway to help moderate speeds would help. The state should also install medians where wrong-way accidents are more prone to occur.