It is fortunate that this type of collision is relatively rare, because the consequences are severe.
I am speaking of driving the wrong way on a divided highway or freeway. We received about one complaint a month when I was working at Central Island Traffic Services in Parksville.
The most frequent reasons for travelling the wrong way include impaired driving, attempts at suicide and genuine confusion. Other reasons can include age, mental defect or disease, and confusing signage. One study that I read indicated that some do-not-enter signs were posted too high to be in the normal scanning path of older drivers.
So, how do you protect yourself from a wrong-way driver?
Travel in the right lane except when passing, as it is most likely the wrong-way driver will be in the lane to your left.
What to do if you encounter a wrong-way driver?
Move to the right onto the shoulder and stop. Reducing the closing speed of the vehicles and not taking the collision forces directly head-on will improve chances for survival.
For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Friday.