Wrong-way crashes on the rise in the area

By Marisa Breese - News Producer , Syan Rhodes - Anchor/Reporter , Amanda Perez

HOUSTON - TxDOT says there were 222 wrong-way crashes in Harris and surrounding counties in 2013. The pace in 2014 is likely to surpass that number with 157 so far.

Investigators say Teodoro Aguilar, 56, was driving with a blood alcohol level that was nearly three times the legal limit Monday night. Aguilar drove northbound in the southbound lanes of the Hardy Toll Road and struck and killed a woman in an oncoming car.

Aguilar is facing intoxication manslaughter charges that could be upgraded to vehicular homicide.

Researchers at Texas A&M's transportation institute say most wrong-way crashes are caused by intoxicated drivers late at night.

They're now working with the Texas Department of Transportation to develop new ways to get the attention of impaired drivers – including placing warning signs lower to the road.

"They're range is not very wide, so the lower the better for them to see that they're entering the road the wrong way," Danny Perez of the Texas Department of Transportation said. "We're also talking about LED lights on signs so they can better see what's coming.

Safety experts say if you're driving late at night to avoid the left lane. It puts drivers further away from oncoming traffic and wrong-way drivers.

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