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Injured by a Wrong-Way Driver in the Tampa / St. Pete / Clearwater Area
One of the last things anyone expects when driving down a highway at night is to see headlights in front of them. Wrong-way driving accidents are less common, but far more dangerous than other types of accidents. Sadly, wrong-way accidents often occur at high speeds and usually involve multiple vehicles.
In 2014 a wrong-way driver killed himself and four USF students after colliding with the students’ vehicle on I-275. He was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.20 percent, more than twice the legal limit, as well as traces of marijuana in his system. His decision to drive impaired caused untold damage and the loss of five lives. (and that case was only one of the thousands of wrong-way crashes that occur in Florida annually)
If you see a wrong-way driver, the best option is to pull over and call the authorities so they can stop the driver from causing any harm. Unfortunately, you may not be so lucky. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a wrong-way driver, it is important to know what to do next.

Why Wrong-Way Accidents Happen in Florida

Many wrong-way drivers are found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash. Impaired drivers lack judgment, and may ignore large, high-visibility signs or even other cars speeding past. Some sober drivers make a genuine mistake and enter the wrong way, but they often turn around and continue driving correctly without harming anyone.

Many cases of wrong-way driving could have been prevented if drivers abstained from texting and driving, driving while under the influence, driving while tired, speeding, or not paying attention to road signs.

What To Do If It Happens To You in Florida

Wrong-way driving accidents are unexpected by their very nature. If you are injured in this type of collision and the other driver is at fault, then you may be entitled to financial compensation. The compensation is usually substantial, as these accidents tend to be incredibly dangerous and debilitating. It’s important to keep calm and know what to do both during and after the accident.


  • If you are able, pull off to the side of the road and call 911 in order to have a police report on record.
  • Call for medical attention even if you feel you were not injured, as the shock of the situation may cause you to overlook injuries until later. It is also important to keep the medical documentation that will be available after you are checked out.
  • If you have information about the other motorist such as name, phone number, insurance provider, insurance policy number, and license plate number be sure to document it. If not, see if there are any witnesses who may have seen something such as the model and color of the car to pass onto police.
  • Hire an attorney. The legal process can be confusing and intimidating, and many cases can be difficult to navigate alone. An attorney can help you win lost wages, medical expenses, and more.

Wrong-Way Vehicle Accidents In Florida

The Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles reported 1,490 wrong-way crashes and 96 fatalities in Florida in 2015 alone. (representing nearly one-third of all wrong-way driving fatalities across America) The highway patrol states that in almost every case, the driver was impaired on drugs and/or alcohol.

While Florida itself is a hotspot for wrong-way driving incidents, the Tampa metropolitan area is among the top 10 highest-risk cities. Although the Florida Department of Transportation has committed many resources to high-visibility signage and warnings on exit ramps, some Tampa metro drivers still may ignore them, posing a huge risk to themselves and others. In some cases, all that can be done to prevent wrong-way driving crashes is to take impaired driving seriously and protect yourself and your loved ones.

Personal Injury Law Firm in Tampa | Franco Law Group

If you or a loved one is involved in a wrong-way driving accident it can be very stressful and draining, no matter the circumstances. There are a lot of factors and legalities to understand. Since we are well versed in Florida law with years of experience we can help you figure out your next steps and assist you with legal representation. If you have any questions about a recent wrong-way accident in Florida or would like to talk to a personal injury attorney, then feel free to contact us at (813) 873-0180.

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