KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – In 2018 nationwide, wrong-way crashes were to blame for nearly 350 deaths, according to the Knoxville Police Department. Most recently, Sunday night, where a wrong-way driver along Middlebrook Pike crashed head-on into an Eagle Transport tractor-trailer, ultimately killing the wrong-way driver.
“Unfortunately it does happen quite a bit more than it should because they’re pretty much avoidable,” said Traffic Services Coordinator for the Knoxville Police Department, Lt. Brian Evans.
In light of that deadly crash, KPD suggests using the ‘drive right at night’ technique.
“Basically when you’re driving down the roadway, drive on the right side of the roadway,” Lt. Evans said. “If a person gets on the roadway on the wrong side, they are going to move to the right – thinking they are in the slow lane, so those two cars meet if you are in the fast lane.”
But if both those cars separate and you drive on the right side of the road, Lt. Evans says those cars more than often will miss.
“Pay attention to what’s going on, drive defensively, don’t look at the car in front of you – scan the road ahead of you,” said Lt. Evans.
If you do find yourself in the path of an oncoming wrong-way vehicle, Lt. Evans says to keep driving.
“We want you to continue driving, obviously slow down as much as you can if you see headlights coming towards you, move to the right side if you have the opportunity to stop, (then) pull over and stop on the shoulder of the road,” Lt. Evans said. “We don’t want you to enter traffic on the wrong side of the roadway to avoid the crash or go in the ditch to try and avoid the crash – but drive defensively, do as much as you can.”
If you are caught driving on the wrong side of the road you can get a ticket. In the City of Knoxville it will cost you a $50 fine plus court costs. In state court, the penalty would depend on the charge and the county you were ticketed in.