A head-on collision is one of the most havoc-wreaking types of accidents. It can leave both the driver and the passenger seriously injured. The long-term consequences can include pain, suffering, emotional and physical distress, and financial losses.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 600 individuals were killed due to a head-on crash in Texas, in the year 2019. Head-on collisions in Texas are common and it is important to understand the complexities involved in these accidents and how a victim can get compensation for their losses.
What is a head-on collision?
A head-on collision takes place when two vehicles traveling in the opposite direction crash into each other. Most of these accidents take place at a very high speed, and airbags and additional protection don't work at this point. The accident can result in personal injury for each of the drivers and passengers, not to mention the property damage and financial losses that come with a car accident.
What are the Causes of a Head-on Collision?
It's pretty evident that the root cause of a head-on crash is a negligent driver. How else is it not possible to see an oncoming vehicle coming right at you and take measures to avoid the collision? Here are some common causes of a head-on accident:
Driving in the wrong way
If one of the drivers is driving from the wrong direction on a one-way street, a highway entrance, or an exit map, the chances of them causing a head-on collision are high. Most of the time, other negligent behavior like drunk driving or driving under influence can contribute to such reckless driving.
Crossing over the center line
It is possible for a driver to cross over the center line due to many reasons. They might be driving too fast for inclement weather or they might lose control of their vehicle.
A drowsy and sleepy driver can lose attention on the road and easily steer into the oncoming lane of traffic. Studies suggest that drowsy driving is just as lethal as drunk driving.
Over speeding is the leading cause of losing control over a vehicle. This can cause the vehicle to cross the center line and crash into another car head-on. The speed element guarantees that the people involved in the accident will experience traumatic injuries or die.
Speeding around a curve:
When a driver takes a turn on a curve too fast, they can lose control over their car and crash into oncoming vehicles.
Impaired or Drunk Driving
When a driver is under the influence and intoxicated, it's understood that their driving and decision-making skills will be impaired. The drunk driver will have slower reaction times and are more likely to fall asleep on the wheel. All this can result in a tragic head-on crash.
When driving, a driver needs to pay undivided attention to the road and their vehicle. If a driver is drinking, texting, eating, or on a call with someone while driving, it's more than likely they'll lose attention on the road. This is the perfect recipe for a head-on collision.
Impatience can cost you your life on the road. When a driver tries to surpass the vehicle in front of them at a fast speed, they can easily crash into a vehicle coming from the front.
Injuries Caused by Head-on Collisions
A car accident can result in a range of injuries for drivers and passengers. However, head-on collisions can end up causing the most devastating injuries due to the physics involved in two cars crashing into each other from the front. And, if high speed is involved, the impact is even greater.
During a head-on collision, the driver and passengers are almost always thrown upfront. The impact speed is so high that airbags and other protection equipment do little to help the case. In case, someone isn't wearing a seat belt, they can crash right into the windshield.
Common injuries resulting from a head-on accident are:
- Neck Injury: Neck injuries like whiplash are common during a head-on collision due to the back and forth movement of the neck
- Traumatic Brain Injury: Traumatic injuries can result from the jolt and collision of the head on the side of the vehicle, steering wheel, or dashboard. These can be lethal.
- Chest Injury: Catastrophic chest injuries including broken ribs and punctured lungs can occur due to seat belts and airbag deployment.
- Organ damage and internal bleeding: Strong impact, seat belts, and airbag deployment
- Knee, foot, leg injuries: These are more common for front-seat passengers who experience jolts and movement in their legs as they are pushed forward.
- Amputations: These can be a result of a severe accident and the victims getting mangled in the debris
- Spinal cord and back injury: These can be severe enough to result in paralysis.
Victims of a head-on accident need immediate medical care to address these injuries before their degree of seriousness increases.
What Actions Can You Take after a Head-on Collision?
The actions you should take after a head-on collision will depend on the severity of the crash and the extent of your injuries. In most cases, you will be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. You might not even be conscious of the scene of the crash. Here are some tips for drivers, occupants, and families of the victim after a head-on collision:
Get Medical Help Immediately
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident and hasn't been to the hospital yet, you need to go as soon as possible. The first step after a head-on accident is to get examined by a medical professional and determine the extent of your injuries and ensure you're not in the danger zone and your injuries are taken care of appropriately. The best practice is to call 911 at the scene of the traffic accident.
Move Your Vehicle to Safe Zone
The Texas Department of Transportation advises that if you can, you should move your car to a safe spot and off the roadway. This will prevent other cars from crashing into you and also protect the occupants and you from getting hit again.
Report the Accident
If an accident involves injuries, wrongful death, or property damage of more than $10,000, Texas law demands you to file a police report within 10 days of the accident. In case of a severe type of collision, it is more than likely that someone will call the police. In other cases, you need to file a report, especially in cases where the other driver manages to run away from the scene. The police will record initial information that will help you file your accident claim and also aid the court and your insurance company to make their decision.
Gather All Relevant Information
It will be sometime before the police arrive at the scene. Now is the time for you to get contact and insurance information from the other driver or party. Make sure you are noting down things like the other driver's license plate number, location of the crash, the time. Take out your cell phone and document the condition of both vehicles through pictures. Take pictures of injuries as well. This evidence will come in handy for your accident attorney and your insurance company.
Inform Your Insurance Company:
You should inform your insurance agency of the accident even if the other driver is at fault. They may be able to seek reimbursement from the at-fault side's insurance company.
Let Us Help You:
The Glenn Law Firm can help accident victims file a personal injury claim or surviving members file a wrongful death suit. Our experienced car accident attorney will help you get compensation for all the mental, physical and financial losses. You don't have to worry about our fee because you'll pay only when we win the case for you.
Have you or a loved one been in a head-on collision? Our personal injury lawyer can help. Call us to learn more.