Head-on collisions are far less common than rear-end and side impact collisions. However, like side impact collisions, this type of car crash can be very serious, especially at high speeds. Head-on collisions typically happen when one driver moves into the wrong lane and crashes into the front of another car. This can occur because the driver was distracted, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, falling asleep, trying to pass the car in front of them, swerving to avoid another car or an animal in the road, or turning the wrong way down a one-way street. These collisions can also occur when one car hits a fixed object head-on, like a telephone pole or tree.
Head-on, or frontal, crashes account for approximately half of the passenger deaths in the U.S.1 In 2009, approximately 123,000 head-on collisions occurred, resulting in 63,000 injured and 3,000 dead.2
In head-on collisions, the severity of the injuries can depend greatly on the speed, size, and overlap of the cars. Accidents that occur at higher speeds can cause more serious injuries than those occurring at lower speeds. In head-on crashes where one vehicle is larger and heavier than the other, the driver and passengers of the smaller car are more likely to be injured than the occupants of the larger vehicle. In frontal crashes, the two vehicles do not have to completely overlap in order to cause severe injuries. In fact, the structures and safety features of the driver and passenger’s seats are better-suited to protect the occupants; however, the outer edges of a vehicle, like the wheel well, are not as protected. In head-on crashes where there is little overlap of the two cars, it is common for the wheel to be forced into the driver or passenger seat, which can cause severe leg and foot injuries.
When one car hits another head-on, the occupants of both vehicles can suffer injuries to their head, neck, back, torso, and legs. These injuries can include whiplash, brain trauma, damage to the vertebrae and spine, fractured and broken bones, internal injuries, burns, and more. Injuries to the head and torso can be particularly severe if the person is not wearing their seat belt and hits the steering wheel and dashboard of the car.
To avoid a head-on collision, make sure that you stay in your lane. When going around sharp curves, stay toward the outside of your lane in the event that an oncoming car crosses the center line. And in case you are involved in a crash, download our detailed guide covering what to do if you are in a car accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a head-on collision caused by the other driver, you have options. The Huntsville, AL car accident attorneys at Martinson & Beason, P.C. will work with you to examine your legal options and seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries. To find out the questions you should ask a prospective attorney, download our Special Report.
Contact us today by email or by calling (256) 533-1667. The consultation is free and confidential. We serve clients in Huntsville and throughout Alabama.