The Dangers of Head-on Collisions

There are different kinds of car accidents, such as sideswipes, rear-end collisions, T-bone accidents, and rollovers. But arguably the most dangerous of them all is head-on collisions. Getting hurt in a car accident, particularly a head-on collision, can have devastating effects.

Common Causes
A head-on collision happens when two vehicles’ front ends crash into each other, so most victims of head-on collision cases are traveling on opposite directions. Head-on collisions can happen because of many reasons, but the most common reasons are the following:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and losing control
  • Driving while distracted, such as texting and eating
  • Falling asleep while driving and drifting into the opposite lane
  • Going the wrong way
  • Losing control during a curve or turn
  • Speeding
  • Veering into oncoming traffic to overtake a vehicle

Common Injuries
Since head-on collisions involve the front ends of the vehicles involved, the occupants of the vehicles absorb a big portion of the collision force, resulting into devastating injuries.

Head injuries and brain trauma: The head of the victims may hit hard surfaces, such as the steering wheel and windshield, or get hit by projectiles, such as debris. These may result into head injuries, including facial deformation, and into brain trauma, including concussion and severe traumatic brain injury.

Neck injuries and whiplash: The sudden jolt caused by the collision may put a strain in the victims’ necks, resulting into neck fractures and other neck injuries such as whiplash.

Spinal cord injuries and back problems: The sudden jolt may also catch the body unprepared and relaxed, resulting into problems in the spinal cord and back. The worst injuries may even result into paralysis, limiting the victims’ motor and sensory functions.

Death: Many head-on collisions are high-impact accidents, so it is not surprising that many result into the death of the victims. Even the injuries stated above, when extremely severe, may cause death.

Punitive or Compensatory Damages due to Car Accidents

Anything that will catch your attention while you are behind the wheel and cause you to veer your focus on that thing rather than on your driving, then something unpleasant may just likely happen.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continuously and untiringly reminds motorists that it never be complacent in apprehending and punishing violators of traffic laws, especially if these violations injure or cause the death of an innocent victim (another motorist, a motorcyclist, bicyclist or pedestrian).

Dangerous road behaviors that continue to put at risk everyone’s safety include driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), reckless driving, overspeeding or driving at a speed that is unsafe for a particular road or weather condition, and distracted driving, which is now fast becoming a major threat on the road.

Unlike other causes of car accidents which are focused mainly on single acts (like DUI, which only involves consumption of alcohol), distracted driving takes different forms, so many of which are so ordinary that drivers no longer realize that they are already being distracted.

Cell phone use (whether using a hands-free or hand-held phone to text, call someone or answer someone’s call) is currently identified as the most common form of driver distraction. The many other forms of distraction drivers are guilty of include: talking or arguing with his/her passenger; eating; drinking; reaching for an object, like from the back seat of the car, causing him or her to look away from the road as well as take one hand off the wheel; adjusting a car radio or a GPS device; using a laptop or reading a map for directions; playing with a child or a pet; grooming, like brushing one’s hair or applying make-up, or fixing a tie; lighting a cigarette; driving while angry; and so forth.

One revealing result of records analysis made by the NHTSA is that the ones most guilty when it comes to distracted driving are young drivers, particularly those aged between 17 and 24. This also means that most of those who violate safety traffic rules, as well as the most common victims of fatal car crashes, are young drivers too.

Regardless of who the person behind the wheel is, a car accident taking place due to reasons such as negligence, carelessness and distraction, can be avoided. For victims, one important thing they should consider after an accident is hiring a seasoned personal injury lawyer, who may be able to help them get the compensation that the law may entitle them to receive.

According to the website of the law firm Ali Mokaram, “Compensation or commonly referred to as damages, can be divided into two categories, punitive or compensatory damages. Punitive damages are penalties that a judge will award to the plaintiff that is specifically designed to punish the defendant for their heinous acts. These damages are typically reserved for cases involving tort law and are often used to deter the defendant from doing the act again. On the contrary, compensatory damages are designed to help the plaintiff to pay for the costs of recovering after the injury. These damages often include things such as lost wages, property damages, and lawyer fees.”