While all traffic collisions have the potential to be severe, head-on collisions are by far the worst. According to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 56 percent of all passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2018 were caused by head-on collisions, compared to only 23 percent of fatalities from side-impact crashes. Those who do survive head-on collisions, also known as frontal crashes, are likely to experience severe injuries that can take months or years to recover from.
Why Are Head-On Collisions So Dangerous?
When a car is traveling down the road at 35 mph and hits another car that is traveling 40 mph, the impact is the same as it would be for a car hitting a wall at 75 mph. This type of high energy collision often ends in extreme injuries for all occupants, including traumatic brain injury, facial injuries, spinal injuries, whiplash, and fractured limbs and ribs. Even when seatbelts are worn properly and airbags deploy as designed, head-on collisions often end in permanent injury or death. Even worse, Gear Patrol highlights that frontal crashes are rarely “clean”, where the vehicle impacts squarely, hitting the entire front of the other car. Instead, many frontal crashes are off-set, whereby only 25 percent of less of the car’s exterior actually collides with another vehicle. This can cause the car to pivot or spin and potentially hit other vehicles or objects nearby. The rotation this causes means a driver and passenger are not simply thrown forward towards the airbag, but can also be thrown rapidly to the side or bounce off the airbag during the rotation and suffer injuries from other objects within the car. Off-set crashes also reduce the effectiveness of a car’s front crumple zone that is meant to protect the occupants. Due to all of these factors, victims of head-on collisions face a barrage of injuries, sometimes over the course of multiple seconds of impact due to collision with other vehicles or objects, or the road if a rollover occurs.
Proving Who Caused the Crash
The impact in a head-on crash can send both vehicles spinning out in different directions and when everything stops, it can be difficult to tell exactly where both vehicles were traveling from prior to colliding. The police will have to do an investigation and a personal injury attorney can help you prove that the other driver was liable. Common causes of head-on collisions include:
- Drunk drivers who are swerving into the other lane of traffic;
- Distracted drivers who swerve;
- Drowsy drivers who fall asleep at the wheel;
- Unsafe passing;
- Drivers who are swerving to avoid an object in their lane of traffic; and
- Confused drivers who enter a highway ramp the wrong way or turn on a one-way street.
Contact A San Jose Personal Injury Attorney
Often a frontal collision will send victims to the hospital with injuries. It is easy to become inundated with the medical treatment along with upheaval that crash caused and set aside the issue of how to recover compensation for the damages sustained. An experienced San Jose personal injury attorney from the Solution Now Law Firm can help get your personal injury case started. We can meet you in a location that is easiest for you given your injuries. Contact us at 408-256-2871 to schedule a free consultation.