In November 2015, the drivers of a Ford Mustang and an empty fuel tanker suffered injuries in a head-on collision on Huntsville-Brownsferry Road. Firefighters had to cut both the side and roof off the Mustang to get the occupant out. Police reported that both drivers were conscious at the scene and neither appeared to have life-threatening injuries. Both drivers were brought to Athens-Limestone Hospital.
What can cause a head-on collision?
Head-on collisions, one of the most dangerous types of accidents, seem as though they would be the most avoidable of all because the driver should theoretically be able to see what is coming at him. But, of course, these accidents still do occur for a number of reasons.
Many things can cause or contribute to a head-on collision, such as:
- A driver who is talking on the phone, sending or reading texts or emails, eating, listening to music, or talking to other passengers
- An intoxicated, drugged, or otherwise impaired driver
- A driver who failed to notice traffic signals and is heading the wrong way down a one-way road
- A driver who crossed the centerline attempting to pass a car in front of him
- A reckless or aggressive driver
- A driver following too close behind another car to allow safe emergency maneuvers
All of the causes listed above come back to mistakes that drivers make. Some accidents are unavoidable, but drivers can help prevent head-on collisions and other serious accidents by taking some precautions.
- Devote all of your attention to driving. Put away the cell phone and wait until you arrive at your destination to start eating. Otherwise, you might not see a driver in front of you braking, someone pull into your lane, or important signage that indicates the road you’re turning onto is a one-way street.
- Drive defensively. This means leaving enough distance between you and other vehicles and having patience if another vehicle is driving slow in front of you; if you want to pass a vehicle, wait until it is safe to do so.
- Drive sober. When you drive impaired, you make poor decisions and do not have adequate reaction time to avoid a wreck. So if you’ve had too much to drink, call a cab, find alternative transportation home, or just spend the night if possible.
How common are truck vs. car accidents? Head-on truck vs. car collisions?
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 1,980 fatalities in two-vehicle accidents involving a large truck in 2013. And in many cases, it is the occupants of the smaller passenger vehicles that suffer fatal injuries. Ninety-seven percent of the fatalities were occupants of passenger vehicles (1,926). Just three percent of the fatalities were occupants of the large trucks (54).
Further, out of the 1,926 fatalities among passenger vehicle occupants who were in car vs. truck accidents in 2013, 30 percent were the result of head-on collisions.
Keeping things closer to home, Madison County and Limestone County also saw fatalities involving accidents with large trucks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2010 and 2014, twelve fatalities resulted from accidents involving a large truck in each county.
So while victims might feel overwhelmed after an accident involving a large truck, they certainly are not alone.
Whatever the cause, if you ever suffer injuries in an accident that involves a large truck or not, speak with a car accident lawyer. Contact Martinson & Beason, P.C. at 256-533-1667 or fill out our online contact form today.