Nearly 1,500 wrong way crashes in Florida last year

Highway officials urge drivers to stay in right lane to lessen chances of crash

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Drivers are urged to stay in the right lane when traveling at night to lessen the chances of being involved in a wrong-way crash, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).

Most fatal wrong way crashes occur in the center or left lane, according to DHSMV.

“Wrong way crashes are high impact crashes, which means drivers and passengers involved are occasionally injured, if not killed," said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes.

Preliminarily in 2015, there were 1,490 wrong way driving crashes in Florida, resulting in 1,454 injuries and 96 fatalities.

In the majority of wrong way crashes, vehicles are hit head-on, resulting in 81 percent of all wrong way fatalities.

Head-on collisions are some of the most dangerous and deadly crashes. In more than two-thirds of all wrong way crashes, the driver was either injured or killed.

According to DHSMV data, drivers in wrong way collisions aren’t always impaired, which is why it’s critical for drivers to be prepared and educate themselves on how to avoid being in a wrong way crash.

Preliminarily in 2015, 51 percent of wrong way crashes noted that the condition of the driver as normal. 

"Safety on our roads is top priority at FDOT. Partnerships with law enforcement are critical to reducing fatalities and injuries from wrong way crashes. We remind motorists to always drive sober and stay alert," said FDOT Secretary Boxold. 

  • Stay Right at Night to avoid crashes with wrong way drivers
  • Call 911 immediately to report wrong way drivers. If you see a wrong way driver approaching, slow down and pull off the road.
  • Learn and obey all traffic signs.
  • Look for FDOT messaging signs for wrong way driver alerts
  • When a driver sees a posted red sign, think "stop," "do not enter," "wrong way"
  • Stay alert. Do not drive distracted or impaired

FDOT is implementing wrong way signage, roadway reflectors and large painted pavement markings to help drivers identify the proper entrance and exit ramps on the interstate, flashing signs at exit ramps with radar detection, and emergency alert signage when wrong way drivers are detected.