A head-on collision occurs when the front ends of two vehicles strike one another in what is often a very serious car crash. These collisions are particularly violent and can often result in injuries or even death due to the nature of the crash and the force of the impact. In fact, did you know that when two car strike each other head-on, the driver experiences 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 scary and is the reason that head-on car crash often have severe and traumatic outcomes.Head-on Collision Statistics
In 2011, head-on collisions accounted for just over 8% of all traffic related accidents in Illinois but over 10% of all fatalities, meaning that this type of crash is disproportionately responsible for deaths in the state.
In 2016, over 3,500 people died in head-on collisions in just Illinois alone. This is a staggering number for such a specific type of car accident and gos to show just how dangerous headon collisions are.Common Head-On Collisions in Chicago
The most common form of a head-on collision is where vehicles traveling in different directions on the same road strike one another. This may occur when one driver is distracted by their phone, not paying attention to the road, or drowsy and crosses the center line, placing the vehicle directly in the path of opposing traffic.
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 the two. People unfamiliar with an area are more likely to make this error, as are drivers who are traveling during dark hours or in an unlit area.
One way streets are labeled to prevent these types of mistakes and they use white paint on the road surface to separate lanes, if there are multiple lanes, 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.
Rural and less populated areas see head-on collisions as the result of improper passing on a highway. Where traffic is allowed to pass by using the lane designed for opposing traffic, there is always a risk of a crash. An example is where a two lane undivided highway exists and one driver wants to pass a slow car in front of him. Where allowed, a driver can do this by passing in the lane used by opposing traffic only when there is no traffic present and it is safe to do so. However if a driver passes where it is prohibited by law or when oncoming traffic is not clear, he may cause a head-on collision with another vehicle.Common Injuries Caused By Head-On Collisions
Thousands of different injuries can result from a head-on collision but due to the nature of the crash and the forces involved on the occupants, there are several injuries that are common in these collisions.
- Cuts and abrasions. Cuts to the face, torso, and arms are common in crashes and may result from a driver coming into contact with the steering wheel, the dash board, the side of the door, or another fixed object in the car. Windshields often shatter as a result of these accidents, spraying glass shards inside the passenger compartment, which can result in glass cuts to exposed and unexposed skin and even glass shards becoming embedded in a victim. This can lead to significant and disfiguring scarring after a victim heals.
- Fractured or 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, which provides a path for bacteria to enter the body and bloodstream.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Head and brain injuries are common in head-on collisions and are sometimes caused by a head’s impact with a steering wheel, dashboard, headrest, or a seat in front of a passenger. A traumatic brain injury is 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, requiring 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 common result. Whether it's a serious sprain, herniated disc, or a broken neck, these types of injuries tend to affect victims for the rest of their lives.
- Death. Head-on collisions are also responsible for thousands of deaths every year. Some of these deaths occur instantly upon impact while other victims survive for a period of time before succumbing to their injuries.
If you have been involved in a head-on collision and you were injured, or if a family member was injured or killed, it is important to know that you have rights and that you may be entitled to fair compensation for your damages.
In the case of a victim who was wrongfully killed, 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 were injured in an accident, call the Chicago head-on collision lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or contact us online. We offer a free consultation with no obligation and we have a lawyer standing by to speak with you 24 hours a day. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we do not charge a fee unless we make a recovery for you and we are ready to get to work on your behalf, so call us now and let us fight for your rights.
If a head-on collision left you injured, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today or Contact Us online for a free case consultation.