Head-collision between two cars

07 May 2021 Examples of accidents & crash tests

Car driving in wrong direction on freeway

Sequence of events:
While driving on a freeway in the dark, the driver of a car wanted to overtake a truck-trailer combination as the two vehicles traversed a gradual bend to the right. As he pulled up alongside the truck, another car came toward him in the wrong direction, driven by a 79-year-old. Despite taking evasive action, the two vehicles collided head-on in the left-hand lane. Both cars were sent into a spin, before colliding with the truck and the concrete reservation respectively.
Persons involved in the accident:
Two car drivers and one truck driver
The drivers of both cars sustained severe injuries.
The driver of the car that was going in the wrong direction had visited a service station prior to the accident. It was not possible to determine why he drove onto the freeway in the wrong direction. The service station was located on the side of the southbound lanes. The traffic routing system within the grounds of the service station was ring-based. This layout, which is unusual for a German freeway, combined with the lack of sufficient signage, increases the risk of cars pulling onto the freeway in the wrong direction.
Avoidance measures, mitigation of consequences/ strategy for road safety measures:
At the time of the accident, it was dark and the weather was dry. It was the early hours of the morning, and the traffic volume was low. When combined with the unusual traffic routing system, this makes it likely that the senior citizen in question had not seen the turnoff that would have taken him onto the freeway in the right direction. Clear traffic routing systems with clear signage offer great potential for preventing this type of accident.
Regular health checkups, an honest appraisal of one’s own cognitive and physical abilities – particularly with regard to seeing in the dark – and listening to advice from family and friends regarding one’s ability to drive safely can also help to prevent these kinds of accidents. In future, Car2X and Car2Car systems will also potentially be able to provide real-time warnings in good time to prevent such mistakes.