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Wrong Way Driving

Top Contributing Factors

  • Driver Impairment
  • Driver Confusion
  • Medical Events

Iowa State University Institute for Transportation

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)


  • On average, 43 people are killed in wrong way collisions each year on California’s highways.
  • Most wrong way crashes happen with vehicles in the left-hand lane traveling in the correct direction.
  • In 2019, 61.4% of wrong-way driver crashes involved drivers who were impaired at the time of the crash.
  • Wrong-way crashes are rare – they account for less than 1% of all deadly crashes.

What To Do

  • Move as quickly and as safely out of the way as possible.
  • Do not attempt to pursue the wrong-way driver. As soon as it is safe to do so, call 911 and report the driver.
  • While driving, maintain a high visual horizon. Looking down the road increases your ability to see roadway hazards far ahead and safely get out of the way.
  • Keep your headlights on at night. If a wrong-way driver sees headlights, they might realize they are going the wrong way.
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