A man was killed early Sunday in a head-on collision with a truck after he began driving the wrong way on Interstate 95 in Prince George’s County, authorities said.
The wrong-way collision on the interstate was the second of its kind on one of the Washington area’s major highways in recent days.
The earlier incident happened about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday when a 25-year-old woman was killed in Montgomery County in a collision that occurred while she was driving against traffic on Interstate 270. That crash occurred in the Gaithersburg area, near Interstate 370, the state police said.
No explanations for either incident of wrong-way driving were available immediately.
The two wrong-way collisions, along with one that occurred in October, provided examples of what federal traffic specialists have described as a nagging safety problem since the creation of the interstate system in the late 1950s.
In a 2002 issue of a publication of the Federal Highway Administration, driving the wrong way on freeways was said to have persisted despite four decades of highway striping and sign improvement.
The report said that on average about 350 people each year were killed throughout the nation in wrong-way freeway crashes. According to the report, studies showed that most wrong-way drivers turn around before any collision occurs.
In Sunday’s incident, Maryland state police said Christian Allen Knight, 22, of Olney was driving south in the northbound lanes of I-95 near the Intercounty Connector about 3 a.m, when his car struck a tractor-trailer.
Names of the drivers in Tuesday’s crash could not be learned.
A third fatal wrong-way crash occurred on an interstate highway in the Washington region last month.
On Oct. 8, a southbound Mercury sedan crossed the median of I-95 in Stafford County about 5:30 a.m., Virginia state police said. It caused a chain-reaction crash that killed a passenger in the Mercury. Police said the passenger, a New York man, died at the scene.