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Head-on Collisions


Personal Injury

The Gainesville Automobile Accident Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. represent the victims and family members of those injured or killed as a result of a head-on or frontal collision. The NHTSA defines a head-collision as “[a] Collision Where The Front End Of One Vehicle Collides With The Front End Of Another Vehicle While The Two Vehicles Are Traveling In Opposite Directions.” Although head-on collisions represent less than 3% of all traffic collisions, the victims of such accidents are at much greater risk of serious injury or fatality, than in many other types of car wrecks. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, frontal collisions are the most common type of auto crash resulting in death.

The risk of catastrophic injury or death in a front-end to front-end type collision, can be easily understood through the application of simple physics.  Physicslab.org, provides a useful inquiry from which to apply basic principles of physics to head-on crashes:

“Which would be more damaging: driving into a massive concrete wall, or driving at the same speed into a head-on collision with an identical car traveling toward you at the same speed?”

THE ANSWER—Both cases are equivalent. Many of us, through having viewed dummy crash tests, are aware of the manner in which a head-on collision can cause a violent jerking of a vehicle occupant’s body, and in cases of unrestrained occupants, even ejection from the vehicle. Crash tests also demonstrate how factors such as type of vehicle, airbag deployment, and safety-restraints, can all play a role in both the survival rate and extent of injury in a head-on crash. 

Common injuries in Frontal Crashes include:

The vast majority of head-on collisions are caused as a result of a motorist’s departure from a travel lane, and into the path of an oncoming vehicle. In most cases, lane departure is associated with a specific driver error or action, such as speeding, improper maneuvering, or aggressive driving. However lane departure can also occur due to other factors, such as falling asleep, or the onset of a medical emergency while driving.

Some contributing factors linked to frontal crashes are:

Another consideration in head-on crashes, are those in which a motorist is altogether traveling in the wrong direction, as opposed to a driver’s departure from an appropriate travel lane. While most wrong-way head-on collisions are associated with drunk driving or drug-related impairment, accidents can, have, and do occur, even in the absence of driver impairment. For example, cognitive or visual factors related to older drivers have been identified as cause in many frontal collisions. Wrong-way collisions can also occur as due to lack of experience of a newly licensed driver.

In some cases, head-on collisions involve some other intervening factor, whether causative or contributory. For example, a defective or faulty vehicle component, the actions of a vehicle occupant, or the presence of an obstruction in the roadway such as an animal, a person, or another vehicle. Because there are other persons that can potentially be held liable, for their cause or contribution to a head-on collision in Florida, it is important to consult with attorney that has the experience and skill necessary to assess the incident, and determine all potential sources of recovery. Our Gainesville law firm has obtained compensation on behalf of numerous clients involved in head-on crashes, including surviving victims that have sustained severe injury, as well as the family members of the deceased.

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The type of roadway—divided or undivided, as well as the location of the roadway—rural or city, is an additional area of discussion related to head-on crashes, which has been the subject of numerous research studies. According to crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov, three-quarters of all head-on crashes occur in rural roads. Further, when factoring in the type of roadway, 83% of head-on crashes occur along undivided two-lane road in rural areas.  In correlation with the higher incidence rate of rural frontal collisions, as well as increased fatality rate for frontal collisions in general, the rural head-on collision fatality rate (13%) is nearly double its urban counterpart (<7%).

If you or a loved one were involved in a head-on collision in Gainesville, Ocala, or a surrounding area in Alachua, Lake or Marion county, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys, at the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A., and Let US—Help YOU !