Head-On Collisions – a Quick Guide

A head-on car accident occurs when the front end of two vehicles collide. Typically, these are vehicles travelling in opposite directions down the same road, moving toward one another. Head-on crashes don’t have to involve two passenger vehicles. They can involve any combination of vehicles, including cars, trucks, scooters, motorcycles, buses, and even trains. 

How Common Are Head-On Collisions?

Head-on collisions, or front-impact crashes – account for about 2% of all motor vehicle accidents, nationwide. While these types of car accidents don’t happen very often, they do tend to have catastrophic ends. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), head-on collisions are responsible for more than 10 percent of all fatal car accidents. 

Interestingly, head-on collisions tend to happen more and be more devastating in rural parts of the country. On average, frontal collisions cause roughly:

  • 13 percent of fatal car accidents in rural areas, and
  • 7 percent of deadly auto accidents in urban settings.

This could be due to the fact that rural parts of the country, including areas just outside of Houston, are not well lit. Roads in rural areas are more likely than those in cities to be narrow and full of curves. These factors can contribute to a head-on crash.

Why Do Head-On Collisions Happen?

Overcorrections are common causes of head-on crashes. The driver jerks the wheel very hard to pull the car back onto the road, but the vehicle veers into the lane of oncoming traffic.

Another common cause of head-on collisions is failing to yield the right of way. A vehicle makes an illegal turn or maneuver, causing the two vehicles to collide head-on.

However, what causes a driver to drift off the road or into another lane of traffic. Why would a driver make an illegal turn? The same types of bad driving behaviors that cause other car crashes can also lead to a front impact car accident.

Common causes of head-on accidents include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speed
  • Failing to obey traffic laws
  • Drowsy driving
  • Impaired driving
  • Reckless driving

Head-on accidents cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities. They can be some of the deadliest types of car crashes. Drivers and passengers can be crushed when the vehicles collide or thrown from the vehicle. 

Common Injuries Caused by Front Impact Car Accidents

The injuries in a front impact car accident range from mild to life-threatening. In many cases, a victim requires emergency treatment for traumatic injuries. Without immediate care, the victim may not survive the injuries, or the injuries could result in disability or permanent impairment.

Common injuries victims sustain in front impact car accidents include:

  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Airbag and seat belt injuries
  • Chest injuries

A person injured in a car accident may endure months of painful recovery. They may be unable to work or care for their families. The emotional and mental trauma caused by the accident and the injuries can be debilitating. 

Victims deserve fair compensation for their injuries and damages when a negligent driver causes an accident. However, seeking compensation for damages can be challenging. Insurance companies do not always treat victims fairly.

Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Chance of Recovering Compensation for Your Car Accident Claim

There are steps you can take to improve your chance of recovering fair compensation after a car accident. Things to keep in mind include:

  • Always report car crashes to the police regardless of whether you think you have been injured
  • Attempt to document the accident scene by taking pictures and making videos with your cell phone
  • Do not admit fault or apologize for the accident
  • Ask bystanders for their names and cell phone numbers
  • Do not agree to give a statement or answer questions for the insurance company without speaking with a lawyer first
  • Always seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible to avoid allegations that the wreck did not cause your injuries
  • Avoid discussing the accident and your injuries with friends and family members
  • Do not post or appear in posts on social media until your personal injury claim is settled
  • Check with an attorney before accepting a settlement offer to ensure the offer is fair
  • Do not accept a settlement offer if you are still receiving medical treatment for your injuries

It is generally in a person’s best interest to discuss their car accident with a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer reviews the claim, explains your legal rights, and advises you of the steps you need to take to hold the other driver liable for your financial losses, injuries, and other damages.