Police give tips to protect yourself from wrong way drivers

Tuesday, July 21, 2015
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A nightmare scenario plays out far too often on Houston freeways: Wrong way drivers slam into innocent people. The consequences can prove life changing and deadly.

If you ever find yourself in the situation, experts stress that you should not panic. Instinctively you may want to honk your horn, flash your lights or call 911. Police officers told Eyewitness News those things should not be your priority.

When faced with such a split second decision, Bellaire's police chief Byron Holloway stressed you must immediately move to get you and your passengers out of harm's way.

"Get off the freeway as soon as possible. I don't necessarily mean the emergency lane unless that's the only way you can get out of the road. If you can get over to the right, up on the grass, get completely off the roadway. Let them have the roadway and when you're safe, that's when you call 911," said Chief Holloway. "What you have to stop and think about is if this person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they don't think they're doing anything wrong. That is just going to confuse them at best usually it's not going to make a drunk stop and say oh my gosh, I'm driving the wrong way on the freeway."

So what should you do? Experts say when you're driving at night, you should always first be scanning the horizon. That means look for headlights far off in the distance. If you see a car heading your direction on a one-way road, immediately move to the right. Police officers explain impaired drivers often stay in what they consider their right lane, hoping to avoid law enforcement. However, a wrong way driver's right lane is the highway's so-called "fast lane."

Once you move to the right, try to pull off the freeway altogether if possible. Only then when you're safe, call 911 to report the wrong way driver.
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