States Scramble for Solutions to Curb Rising Wrong-Way Crashes

The problem goes well beyond Connecticut. In fact, even before dangerous driving surged during the pandemic, the number of wrong-way deaths was increasing. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that 500 people a year died in those types of collisions on divided highways between 2015 and 2018, up from 375 annual deaths in the five previous years. (On highways where a median separates different directions of traffic, it is especially difficult for a driver to return to the correct lane.) And wrong-way crashes are particularly deadly, because they involve two or more vehicles traveling at high speeds smashing into each other.

That’s prompted states all over the country to look for ways to reverse the trend, often relying on new technology to do so.

Florida, for example, has installed wrong-way detectors on 164 freeway ramps and plans to put up more at other dangerous locations, said Michael Williams, the deputy communications director for the Florida Department of Transportation.