Following an extensive research conducted by accident investigators at German insurance companies into the reasons behind the presence of wrong-way drivers on highways, astonishing results have been unveiled, capturing public attention.
The results revealed that over 40% of the road accidents resulting from driving in the wrong direction on highways were caused by individuals aged over 75 years old.
Over the past decade, these accidents have led to the deaths of 99 individuals, with 207 sustaining severe injuries and 210 suffering minor injuries.
The Highway: A Victim of Wrong-Way Drivers
Siegfried Brockmann, the head of accident research at the German Insurance Association, stated that 80% of the analyzed cases occurred since 2015, noting that these figures might be even higher in reality.
The research highlighted that older drivers, especially men, are most frequently involved in these accidents. The study suggested that the primary cause behind this is dementia and confusion.
While unintentional wrong-way driving on highways accounts for 54.1% of the accidents, 45.9% are attributed to deliberate actions. This percentage decreases with age, as it constitutes 70% among drivers aged 24 to 64, compared to 28% among older drivers.
Regarding the causes of wrong-way driving, the study clarified that the primary reasons include issues like dementia and confusion among older individuals, whereas the main reasons for younger individuals are suicide attempts or fleeing from law enforcement.
Alcohol was involved in 18.3% of the cases, especially among younger individuals.
Regarding the vehicles, 96% of the wrong-way drivers were operating private cars, while the remaining were driving small trucks.
Brockmann emphasized that infrastructure-based improvements, such as signage, are not sufficiently effective. He pointed out that technological solutions, such as advanced driver assistance systems, might be more effective in addressing this issue.
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