SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Wrong-way crashes are on the rise across the country. Across state lines, a Connecticut state representative was killed on Thursday morning.

There were several wrong-way crashes along Interstate 91 just last year, AAA provided those numbers statewide. “The rate of wrong-way crashes has increased dramatically in recent years,” Mark Schieldrop, AAA Northeast representative told 22News.

A deadly wrong-way crash in Connecticut early Thursday morning killed two people including a Connecticut State Representative. This incident adds to an alarming trend of wrong-way crashes seen across the country.

“What are the aspects of why they are going the wrong way? Are they drunk? Are they under the influence of drugs?” KC Mayer from West Springfield asked.

According to traffic data, there have been just over 2,000 deaths from wrong-way crashes on divided highways between 2015 and 2018 averaging 500 deaths per year in the US. Also during that time in Massachusetts, a 75% increase in wrong-way crashes and in the last three years nearly 300 injuries and 32 deaths. AAA says sleep deprivation, and driving late at night have played a role.

“Many times people are confused they take the wrong exit and they realize too late that they are heading in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, we see a lot of impaired drivers who end up driving the wrong way,” said Schieldrop.

MassDOT has begun installing wrong-way vehicle detection systems on various highway exits throughout the state including here in western Massachusetts on I-91 in Bernardston.

“And these can be effective because they can really get the attention of drivers driving the wrong way,” said Schieldrop.

MassDOT reports that the installation of wrong-way vehicle detection systems will go into this spring. AAA says to try to avoid driving in the left lane. Most wrong-way crashes happen there and that’s because the drivers think they are on the right side of the road.