What Is a Head-on Collision?
Also called a frontal collision, a head-on car accident occurs when two cars, driving in opposite directions, crash into each other. Head-on collisions can be between two passenger cars, or between a car and another vehicle, like a motorcycle or commercial truck. A collision between a car and a tree, cement barrier, or other stationary object can also be classed as a frontal collision.
Even though any car accident can cause injuries, head-on collisions are especially destructive, and are even more likely to result in serious injury or even death. The main reason why these crashes are so dangerous is that, because each vehicle is traveling in opposite directions, the speed of impact is effectively doubled. This leads to the extreme danger of head-on collisions.
As cell phone use increases, more drivers are driving while texting or otherwise using their cell phones. While texting and driving is the most common, and most dangerous, form of distracted driving, these behaviors include listening to loud music, eating or drinking, and others. Distracted driving is any behavior that causes the driver’s attention to drift from the road, and can lead to lane drift and head-on collisions.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Drunk driving, or driving impaired by drugs, is extremely dangerous and is the cause of many head-on collisions. Alcohol and other drugs, including some prescription drugs, can profoundly effect driving skills, focus, reaction time, and more. Impaired drivers might not even realize they’re driving the wrong way until it’s too late.
Studies have shown that driving while exhausted can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Drowsy driving can be caused by lack of sleep, long working hours, or being on the road for too long. Exhausted drivers often experience microsleeps, or sleep lasting one to 30 seconds, which is more than enough time to veer into oncoming traffic and cause a head-on collision.
Reckless driving can include any behavior that displays a disregard for other drivers, including speeding, driving aggressively, and passing improperly. Speeding endangers everyone on the road, and speeding drivers are more likely to lose control of their vehicle and skid into oncoming traffic.
Improper passing is a major cause of head-on collisions, especially in rural areas. On two-lane highways, impatient drivers get frustrated behind a slow vehicle and sometimes pass when it’s not safe to do so, which can cause a frontal collision if car is traveling in the opposite lane. Even when it’s legal to pass on a two-lane road, it can be dangerous.
What Makes Head-on Crashes More Dangerous?
Thankfully, head-on collisions are rare compared to other types of car accidents—but they are the most dangerous of all crashes. In 2017, for example, only 2% of all crashes in the U.S. were head-on collisions, but they accounted for over 10% of fatal car wrecks.
What makes head-on collisions so much deadlier than other types of crashes? It’s a matter of physics: since both cars are moving in the collision, and moving directly toward each other, the forward momentum from each car is added to the impact force. This much higher force of impact can lead to more serious injuries, property damages, and even death.
Common Injuries Suffered in a Head-on Collision
Victims of head-on collisions frequently experience serious injuries, including the following:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Injuries from airbag deployment
- Fractured and broken bones
- Cuts, bruises, and abrasions
- Internal organ damage
If you’ve been in a head-on collision and are suffering these or other injuries, you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. You need an experienced head-on car accident lawyer to help you navigate the complex legal waters of your case.
Proving Fault in a Head-on Car Crash Case
Just like in any other car crash, liability in a frontal collision is determined with the concept of negligence, or the failure to use reasonable care to avoid causing injury. In head-on collisions, liability can be simpler to establish: it’s generally the driver who was going the wrong way. However, the following four conditions still must be met to prove liability:
- The other driver owed other drivers, including you, the duty of care to drive responsibly and keep everyone safe.
- The other driver breached that duty of care with their behavior.
- That breach of duty caused the head-on collision.
- The victim incurred damages, such as medical expenses, property damage, and the like due to the action or inaction of the other driver.
What to Do After a Head-on Collision
If you’re a victim of a head-on collision, it can be hard to figure out how it happened and who’s at fault. While the police may investigate your accident, they might not be able to dedicate the time and resources to determining the actual cause. Hiring a professional, dedicated attorney is probably in your best interest.
The head-on collision accident lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys have pursued thousands of car and truck accident cases, and we have the experience necessary to get you the answers—and compensation—you need. We can help you determine what factors were the cause of your accident, and go after the parties responsible for those factors.
After you’ve been involved in a head-on car accident, the first thing you should do is get help. Call 911 if you can, or get someone else on the scene to do so. Your second call should be to Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys at 888.501.7888.
Contact an Experienced Louisiana Car Wreck Lawyer
Not only do the Louisiana head-on collision lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys have the necessary experience to determine the best way to prove your case—we have the financial resources to employ top professionals to aid us in reconstructing your accident in detail, so a jury can understand exactly what has happened to you. We understand the serious, catastrophic injuries and fatalities that are often suffered in frontal collisions as well as the devastation they can have on your life. Let us help you. Contact a head-on car accident lawyer for your free and confidential consultation.
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