SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – There have been deadly wrong-way crashes recently in the state, including one in Holyoke that killed one woman, and another over the weekend in Sturbridge resulting in three deaths.

22News spoke with Danusia Liszka, Spokesperson for Chicopee Police Department about how to avoid wrong-way crashes.

They said to avoid anything that can distract you while you are driving, and remember holding your phone is illegal in Massachusetts.

According to a report by AAA, in Massachusetts, the rate of deadly wrong-way crashes on divided highways has increased by more than double the national rate. These stats are between 2015 and 2018, averaging 500 deaths a year. Alcohol impairment, older age, and driving without a passenger increase the risk of wrong-way crashes.

“Read the signs, be cognizant of the signs and directions of the signs. If you are uncertain of your area, pull over to the side in a safe manner regroup. Safety is the key,” Liszka said.

Additional factors include not paying attention to where you are going or being distracted by something that is going on in your car. Paying attention or touching your phone is another key factor to avoid.

Here in Western Massachusetts, the city of Springfield ranked number two in the state, after Worcester, from 2010 to 2020 with 315 wrong-way crashes.

Avoid distractions, stay focused, take your time and be aware of wrong-way road signs.