MELISSA, Texas –
In what authorities believe to have been a drunk-driving-related accident, part of highway 75 in Collin County was closed at around 1 a.m. Tuesday due to a head-on collision between a car and a tractor-trailer.
Police suspect that the driver of the car was under the influence of alcohol and that he was driving in the wrong direction when he collided with an 18-wheel big rig, causing the truck to jack-knife. The truck driver was treated at the scene while the driver of the car was flown to the hospital in serious condition. In addition, the crash led to the discharge of about 60 gallons of diesel fuel. No further information is available at the present time as to any environmental contamination resulting from the diesel spill.
Wrong way driving is a serious problem, not just in Texas, but nationwide. Indeed, the problem has garnered the attention of the NTSB, which, in 2012, conducted a special investigation, in which they concluded, among other things, that: (1) approximately 60% of wrong way driving accidents involved alcohol; (2) the primary origin of wrong way driving accidents is by entering an exit ramp in the wrong direction; (3) 78% of fatal wrong way driving accidents occur between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am; and (4) wrong way crashes are much more likely to result in fatal injuries than other types of highway accidents.
Of course, the best way is to reduce wrong way driving accidents would be to reduce or eliminate drunk driving. In addition to ongoing efforts to curb drunk driving, technology is being deployed in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents, such as: LED warning signs, wrong-way sensors and in-vehicle traffic sign recognition systems.