What is a Head-On Collision?
A head-on collision occurs when the front ends of two vehicles strike one another. The Chicago head-on collision lawyers at Abels & Annes are very aware these can be tough car crashes.
They are particularly violent and can often result in injuries or even death. This is due to the nature of the crash and the force of the impact. In fact, did you know that in a head-on crash, the drivers experience an impact equivalent to the speed of the two cars combined?
For example, if both cars are traveling at 50 MPH, then the drivers each experience a collision equivalent to hitting a wall at 100 MPH. This is a reason that head-on car crashes often have severe and traumatic outcomes.
Head-on Collision Statistics
In 2018, head-on collisions accounted for just under 1% of all traffic related accidents in Illinois but over 30% of all fatalities. This means that this type of crash is disproportionately responsible for deaths in the state.
There were 126 fatalities in head-on collisions that same year. This is a big number for such a specific type of car accident. It demonstrates just how dangerous head-on collisions are.
Common Head-On Collisions in Chicago
Chicago head-on accident attorneys see a variety of these crashes, such as:
Crossing the centerline. The most common form of a head-on collision is when a vehicle crosses the centerline and causes a crash. This may occur when one driver is distracted by their phone, not paying attention, or drowsy.
Wrong way driver. Another common scenario that leads to a head-on collision is when one vehicle drives the wrong way down a one way street. This can place vehicles traveling in opposite directions in the same lane of traffic, leading to a collision between. People unfamiliar with an area are more likely to make this error. So are drivers who are traveling during dark hours or in an unlit area.
One-way streets are labeled to prevent these types of mistakes. They use white paint on the road surface to separate lanes, if there are multiple lanes. They do this without yellow paint to further inform motorists that two-way traffic does not exist in the area. Yet despite these safety efforts, head-on collisions still occur.
Improper Passing. Rural areas often see head-on collisions as the result of improper passing on a highway. When traffic can pass by using the lane designed for opposing traffic, there is always a risk of a crash.
An example is when one driver wants to pass a slow car in front of him on a two-lane highway. Where allowed, a driver can do this by passing in the lane used by opposing traffic.
This should only be done when there is no traffic present and it is safe to do so. However, if a driver passes where it is illegal or when oncoming traffic is not clear, he may cause a head-on collision.
What Are Common Injuries Caused by Head-On Collisions?
A head-on collision attorney in Chicago will tell you that many different injuries can result in this kind of accident. But, due to the nature of the crash and the forces involved on the occupants, here are some common injuries in these collisions:
- Cuts and lacerations. Cuts to the face, torso, and arms are common in crashes. This can result from a driver coming into contact with a fixed object in the car. Also, windshields often shatter as a result of these accidents. Glass shards may spray inside the passenger compartment, which can result in lacerations to skin and even glass shards embedding inside a person. This can lead to significant and disfiguring scarring.
- Broken bones. This results when great force is applied to a limb, rib, or other bone, forcing the bone past its breaking point. Fractures can be compound or open, meaning that the broken bone breaks through the skin surrounding it. Compound fractures often require surgery and present a greater threat for infection due to the broken skin.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Head and brain injuries are common in head-on collisions. This can result from a head hitting the steering wheel, dashboard, headrest, or a seat in front of a passenger. A traumatic brain injury is defined as a "bump, blow, or jolt to the head that results in a disruption of normal brain function". It can range from mild to severe with severe cases producing lasting effects. Some people with traumatic brain injuries suffer extreme brain damage and lose the ability to care for themselves They may require permanent assistance for the remainder of their lives.
- Neck and Back injuries. Due to the obvious force associated with a head-on collision, neck and back injuries are a common result. Whether it's a serious sprain, disc herniation, or a neck fracture, these types of injuries tend to affect victims for the rest of their lives.
- Death. Head-on collisions are also many deaths every year. Some occur instantly upon impact while other victims survive for a period of time before succumbing to their injuries.
What Should I do if I am Injured in a Head-On Collision?
If you have injuries from being in a head-on collision, it is important to know your legal rights. Further, you may be entitled to fair compensation for your damages.
In the case of a fatality, the victim’s family members may be able to bring a claim for their losses. These claims are in addition to any traffic or criminal penalties that the at-fault driver may face as a result of the collision.
If you suffer injuries from an accident, call a Chicago head-on collision lawyer at Abels & Annes, P.C. today. Call (855) LAW-CHICAGO or contact us online. We offer free consultations with no obligation. We have a lawyer standing by to speak with you 7 days a week. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we do not charge a fee unless a financial recovery is made for you.
We are ready to get to work on your behalf, so call us now and let us fight for your rights.