Tom drives illegally in the opposite direction of an eastbound motorway. For example, Tom drives west on an eastbound lane.

I'm wondering whether there is a word or phrase which describes the same situation or driver's behaviour.

  • 1
    There are two errors in your example sentence. You must use "an" before a word beginning with a vowel sound, not "a". This is not optional.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 20:54
  • typing mistakes, sorry.
    – user421993
    Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 4:53

2 Answers 2


If the street only goes one way, and a person is driving in the other direction, the idiomatic phrase would be "driving the wrong way down a one-way street".

Otherwise, you would say "driving on the wrong side of the road/highway/street/etc" or "driving into oncoming traffic." The second is more likely if there are visible cars coming in the direction of the driver.

Upon Googling some of these phrases, I came across "wrong-way driving" (which I imagine most/all native speakers would be able to figure out, even if they've never heard the term before) and "contraflow driving" (which I never heard before, and likely many native speakers wouldn't necessarily understand this out of context).

  • 1
    And Tom is a "wrong-way driver".
    – stangdon
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 19:29
  • 1
    Tom is riding the wrong way against traffic, but he doesn't use a contraflow bus (or bike) lane.
    – Graffito
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 22:54

Nothing specific to this, but this would be "dangerous driving", and depending on outcome "terrifying" or "suicidal"

If you needed to describe this you'd just say he drove the "wrong way" or "on the wrong side" of the motorway. Drunk M5 driver caused shocking head-on crash driving on wrong side of motorway

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