The recent death of a Hillsborough County deputy reminds us that wrong way drivers can be a deadly problem. Most wrong way driving accidents involve drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or who are elderly or inexperienced. The Safe America Foundation has posted five tips to avoid a wrong way driver.
We have read that some people want spike strips at exit ramps to prevent vehicles from entering a highway the wrong way. However, a study by the Texas Department of Transportation found that spike strips would be more dangerous than nothing at all. Spike strips are probably not the answer.
There probably is not one single answer to the problem of wrong way drivers. However, there are things can be done to decrease the amount of wrong way accidents. Aggressive DUI enforcement will certainly help. Particularly near interstate highways. Testing of elderly drivers will also help. The current testing (an eye exam every eight years) is insufficient. Mandatory training of new drivers will also help. Presently, there is no requirement for a new driver to undergo any formal driver training. Motion sensing cameras at highway exits (the points where most wrong way drivers enter the highway), combined with timely alert systems and overhead displays, would help unsuspecting drivers become aware of a dangerous wrong way driver ahead.