Wrong Way Crashes Becoming Nationwide Issue

December 13, 2012 Updated Dec 13, 2012 at 1:29 PM EDT

By WKBW News

December 13, 2012 Updated Dec 13, 2012 at 1:29 PM EDT

WNY (WKBW) - Wrong way crashes can have deadly results. It has happened here in Western New York.

The National Transportation Safety Board hopes by making signs near major highways bigger and closer to eyelevel for drivers, more deaths will be prevented.

It's a scene we've seen here in Western New York too many times.

Deadly crashes caused by drivers going the wrong way on the highway.

A crash in July left three dead on the I-190 in Grand Island.

Police say the driver, 87-year-old Richard Hildenbrand was going the wrong way on the highway for nearly eight miles before the accident.

Sign changes like what the NTSB wants have been made in Western New York before.

The Department of Transportation made bigger signs on RT 33 by the airport in January of 2008, after the area saw nearly 30 accidents caused by wrong way drivers.

Nationwide, nearly 400 people die each year from wrong way driving. Most of these accidents are head-on with high speeds.

22% of wrong way crashes are fatal.

60% of wrong way crashes are caused by drinking and driving, something we've seen in Western New York.

Police blame a crash from almost two years ago on the Kensington Expressway on a drunk driver heading the wrong way.

Now the NTSB wants each state to require an ignition lock on all cars driven by anyone convicted of a DUI.