Wrong-Way Auto Accidents on the Rise?

Here's a stretch of Summit Avenue in St. Paul, where a man was arrested Monday for going as fast as 100 miles per hour in the wrong way. (Photo courtesy MPR)

Recently, there’s been several auto accidents throughout Minnesota involving drivers hitting high speeds while going in the wrong lane.

On Monday, a Woodbury, Minn. man was arrested for going nearly 100 miles per hour in the wrong lane nearby St. Paul. About two weeks ago, a man in southern Minnesota hit a 16-year-old head on while driving in the wrong lane. The driver died, but the 16-year-old escaped with minor injuries. Before that, a 23-year-old died after driving the wrong way on I-35E.

A lot of times, when people hear about these audacious crimes, they dismissively suggest cruel and unusual punishment. Of course, that’s not how we operate in America and that’s a good thing. Our justice system may be severely flawed, but that doesn’t mean we should start hacking off limbs and orifices to prove a point. However, when it comes to the shockingly selfish act of driving in the wrong lane and endangering others, I say throw the book at’em. Automatic felony. Permanently revoked license. That’s attempted murder, every time. That should be a short day in court and a long time in prison.

I’ve been in just one auto accident. A minor one. I was hit on my passenger side by an F-150 a few winters ago. It jolted me, but I could’ve driven home if my car was still operable. The worst part was the months thereafter. It was needing that extra second at intersections to peek around corners to be sure I was clear. It was a fear of passing cars on highways. It was becoming someone who constantly rides the breaks.

What happens to a 16-year-old who, when trying to pass a semi on the interstate, becomes pinned as a Lincoln Town Car barrels toward him at 90 miles per hour? How does he survive that crash? When he’s recovered, how does he ever get behind the wheel again?

One thought on “Wrong-Way Auto Accidents on the Rise?

  1. This happened to our dear little Katie the other day. Thank god she is not part of these statistics. In defense to her and others, maybe the state should take a step back and figure out why this is happening in the first place. Besides alcohol and negligence, could these accidents be prevented? Are all road signs, roadways, detours, etc marked well enough to ensure that drivers are getting on the right side of the road? Katie will argue they are not. No matter who’s at fault, the numbers prove this is a problem that needs to be looked at closer.

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