Arizona highways safely move hundreds of thousands of vehicles every day. When crashes do occur, research shows that more than 90 percent of the time, the collision is the result of driver behavior – actions like speeding, reckless or distracted driving, or driving while impaired. Wrong-way crashes fit this pattern.
ADOT has taken extensive steps to address the threat of wrong-way drivers, including installation of a first-of-its-kind thermal camera detection system pilot project on I-17. Additionally, larger and lowered “Wrong Way” and “Do Not Enter” signs have been installed on hundreds of freeway ramps and overpasses in Phoenix and rural state highways.
These measures can reduce risk, but can’t prevent wrong-way driving. Two out of three wrong-way crashes are caused by impaired drivers and often these drivers have blood-alcohol levels more than twice the legal limit. This public safety issue will not be solved by only engineering and enforcement. We all need to work to keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel.
The “Drive Aware, Get There” safety campaign aims to help motorists minimize the risk of being in a crash with a wrong-way vehicle. The campaign details what drivers should do if they encounter a wrong-way vehicle, see an overhead sign warning of an oncoming wrong-way vehicle and general tips that will keep drivers safer.
Do you have comments, questions or suggestions about wrong-way drivers?
Visit our Contact ADOT webpage. When filling out the online form, please select “Wrong-Way Drivers” from the dropdown menu.