A 50-year-old woman drove for 30kms on the wrong side of the Via do Infante(A22), between the Bensafrim access point at Lagos, all the way to the Lagoa/Silves exit, in the early hours of the morning recently. Amazingly, she suffered no accident in spite of crossing paths with several other cars en route. It is understood that the driver simply made a mistake on entering the motorway.
The lack of traffic at that hour of the morning (a little after 5am) undoubtedly prevented a more serious incident. Finally, a patrol from the BT division of the GNR spotted the woman, who had already pulled her car over, possibly because she had realised the infraction she had committed, about two kilometres beyond Silves service station in the vicinity of Porches tunnel. Immediately, the traffic was cut off at the nearest access points on the Alcantarilha-Silves road in order to allow for the exit of the car. Half an hour later, traffic was back to normal on the motorway.
Accidents involving cars driving on the wrong side of the road are far from uncommon on Portuguese roads. Explanations for such aberrations include lack of knowledge of the road, poor signposting and drink-driving. In March of this year, a serious case was recorded on the IP2, in the zone of Castro Verde, that caused one fatality and serious injuries to two babies aged between 10 and 12 months.