Wrong-way driving crashes claim hundreds of lives


WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal study says about 360 people a year are killed in wrong-way driving crashes on high-speed highways, a majority of which involve alcohol.

The National Transportation Safety Board was meeting Tuesday to review the study and consider recommendations on countermeasures to prevent such collisions.

One technology already required in 17 states for all convicted first-time drunken-driving offenders is ignition interlock devices that test their breath for alcohol concentration. The devices, mounted on the vehicle's dashboard, prevent the engine from starting if the driver's alcohol concentration is too high.

The board's study analyzed crash data from 1,566 crashes between 2004 and 2009. Investigators said that in 59 percent of those accidents, drivers had blood alcohol levels twice the legal limit. The limit in most states is .08.

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