Wrong-Way Driver Auto Accidents: A Growing Threat to the Safety of Innocent Motorists in Phoenix

Recent reports of wrong-way drivers operating on roadways throughout Phoenix and the surrounding areas suggest that this is becoming an increasing threat to innocent motorists. For example, a woman was recently arrested while driving the wrong way into oncoming traffic on the Loop 202 South Mountain in Phoenix in the early morning hours while impaired by alcohol.

Wrong-way driving accidents may also result in death as we see in the case of a wrong-way driver who has been recently charged with manslaughter following a multi-car accident Interstate 10 near Ray Road.

What is Wrong-Way Driving?

A commonsense definition of wrong-way driving is simply driving the wrong way down the road. However, Arizona Revised Statutes Section 28-694(D) specially defines wrong-way driving as “vehicular movement that is in a direction opposing the legal flow of traffic. Wrong-way does not include median crossing or a collision where a motor vehicle comes to a stop facing the wrong way.” In the experience of our Arizona wrong-way driving accident attorneys, the risk of automobile accidents involving wrong-way drivers seems to be worse under the following conditions:

(a)  Areas that utilize one-way streets;

(b)  Areas of roadway that are dark at night;

(c)  Areas of roadway were traffic is merging in multiple directions.


Due to the risk of oncoming traffic being present, other motorists are frequently injured or killed in wrong-way driver accidents. These accidents are a very unexpected thing. You are driving down the road with your family and all of a sudden another vehicle is coming directly at you at head-on and usually at a high rate of speed. The ability for an injury victim to avoid an accident is virtually eliminated. Likewise, the ability to prepare for or mitigate injury is severely limited as well.

What Are the Criminal Consequences for Wrong Way Driving?

Wrong-way drivers face a civil penalty of $500 in cases where there is no accident or impaired driving. These penalties increase sharply pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes Section 28-1383(A)(5) if the wrong-way driver was operating the vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Felony charges carry significant consequences including mandatory time in an Arizona prison and loss of certain rights like the right to bare arms.

What Can an Injury Victim Recover in Damages Due to the Recklessness of a Wrong-Way Driver?

So what happens if you or a loved-on are injured by the careless behavior of a wrong-way driver? A wrong-way driver in Arizona may be required to compensate an injury victim for:

(a)   Present medical expenses;

(b)   Future, anticipated medical expenses;

(c)    Lost wages, and

(d)   Pain and suffering.

Depending on the circumstances, accidents involving impaired wrong-way drivers may entitle injury victims to punitive damages which are intended to punish the reckless behavior of the wrong-way driver. The only way to fully evaluate your rights and what you are entitled to if you or a love-one have been injured by a wrong-way driver is to contact our wrong-way driving accident attorneys for a free evaluation. We are available 24/7 and your consultation is always free of charge.


Contact Us