What Happens in a Head-On Collision?

What Happens in a Head-On Collision?

Head-on collisions are among the most dangerous types of car accidents. Despite head-on collisions accounting for only 2% of all crashes, they cause about 10% of all traffic fatalities, meaning they are 5 times deadlier than the average crash. In rural areas, head-on collisions are even worse, accounting for an estimated 13-to-15% of all fatal car accidents.

Why are Head-On Collisions So Dangerous?

The deadliness of a head-on collision is the result of simple physics. When two objects collide into each other while moving, the force of the impact is equal to their combined inertia. For example, two cars are each traveling at 50 miles per hour. When they crash head-on, the impact that each vehicle experiences will be as if it crashed into a solid wall at 100 miles per hour.

With such a dramatic combination of forces, head-on collisions often result in catastrophic injuries and consequences, such as:

What Causes Head-On Collisions?

Driver negligence is the root of most head-on collisions. Understanding the specific form of negligence can help form better driving habits that stop such accidents from happening in the future, though.

Many head-on collisions are caused by a driver:

Unsafe passing is also a major contributor to head-on collisions, especially alone single-lane highways. Inexperienced or reckless drivers may try to pass a vehicle in front of them without checking to see if the opposing lane of traffic is clear. Or they do check the opposing lane but fail to correctly estimate the distance between them and the oncoming vehicle, resulting in a violent accident.

Reacting to an Imminent Head-On Collision

If you are driving and an oncoming vehicle is in your lane, you should:

  • Take your foot off the gas pedal.
  • Apply the brake firmly yet steadily to avoid skidding.
  • Smoothly steer your vehicle to the right side of your lane.
  • Drive off the road and onto a shoulder or into a ditch on the right if it is safe to do so.

You should not try to steer to the left to avoid an oncoming vehicle in your lane. In doing so, you risk causing a head-on collision if the oncoming vehicle corrects their mistake and goes back into their own lane. You could also go so far left that you hit another oncoming vehicle that was unaware of your emergency.

Do you need legal help after getting into a head-on collision in Woodbridge? Make Palmisano & Goodman, P.A. and our highly experienced team of attorneys your first choice of legal representation. Call (732) 709-4400 today.