BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) – Defensive driving experts say having an escape route while out on the road is the best way to avoid being hit by a wrong-way driver.
Escape routes are places where a driver can steer their vehicle to avoid a collision, explained Jeremy Lyon, the owner of Brentwood Driving Academy, which trains around 5,000 teens and adults each year.
“You have to be thinking all the time for an escape route,” he said. “Something like pulling off to the side of the road.”
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), 60 percent of fatal wrong-way crashes involve drivers who are under the influence of alcohol.
Lyon told News 2 he encourages drivers to make sure they allow enough space between cars so they have more time to react.
“Even just two seconds is enough time to avoid a crash and possibly save your life,” he explained.
Drivers should also pay close attention to interstate signs.
“There are wrong-way signs up on interstates,” Lyon said. “If you see one, pull your car over immediately.”
According to TDOT, there are “Wrong Way” signs in place in accordance with Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
TDOT Spokeswoman Kathryn Schulte said in an email:
“There was an initiative in 2012 involving all partial cloverleaf interchanges in the state, that involved installing additional signage, pavement markers, updating striping, etc., in an effort to reduce wrong way movements,” Schulte wrote. “The changes were completed in 2013.”
Schulte said if there is an intersection that drivers are concerned about they should contact TDOT and the department can review the area.