Defensive driving expert shares tips to avoid wrong-way drivers

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As authorities deal with the startling tragedy of yet another deadly wrong way crash, a defensive driving expert shared the best ways to deal with a dangerous situation on the road. 

“It really comes down to what if, what if, what if,” Drivers Edge Founder & CEO Jeff Payne said of preparing for the worst. “It really doesn’t matter how good of a driver you think you are; it all comes down to how bad of a driver we know everyone else is.”

Payne discussed safety preparations after Friday’s deadly crash near the airport connector at the 215 Beltway, which is just the latest in a string of shocking wrecks caused by a car traveling against the flow of traffic. 

Nevada Highway Patrol troopers have also responded to 22 wrong way driving calls in the 17 days of 2020. Payne said because of these numbers, it’s important to stay aware. 

“It’s a tireless battle,” Payne said of wrong way crashes across Las Vegas. “It’s like trying to put out a fire with a squirt gun.”

Payne told 8 News Now anyone who sees a wrong way driver coming toward them from a distance should pull off the road immediately. 

If that isn’t possible, Payne said a driver can also swerve to the side and avoid being hit head-on. 

“Jerk the wheel to the left or right, try to create an angle,” he explained. “So, it’s not a head-on collision.”

However, no matter what happens, he said it’s imperative to not panic and instead make a decision that could have the power to save lives. 

“Don’t freeze up,” Payne added. “Try to protect yourself as best you can.”

“We need to stop and take responsibility for ourselves out there,” Payne concluded. “It’s our lives that are on the line.”

Payne also told 8 News Now a lot of wrong way crashes happen in the left lane of a highway or interstate, as an impaired driver might think he is driving in the slow lane of the opposite direction. 

He said anyone who’s looking for further protection should avoid the left lane when possible. 

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