Common Head-on Collision Injuries
Any car accident is scary, but head-on collisions are particularly frightening. Best case scenario, the vehicles involved in the collision weren’t traveling fast enough for any serious injuries to occur. Worst case scenario, a head-on collision causes death. Common head-on collision injuries range from minor to fatal.
Typically, both cars are traveling at least at the posted speed limit, which on a Nevada highway can be as fast as 80mph. However, even at low speeds, a head-on collision can have quite an impact and cause severe injuries.
Dangers of Front Impact Collisions
Just a few weeks ago, there was a head-on collision in Elko, Nevada, involving two vehicles.
According to the Nevada Highway Patrol, a car traveling north on Highway 93 attempted to pass in a double yellow no-passing zone. The car crashed into a vehicle traveling south.
Tragically, all four people involved in the crash died on the scene.
In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety‘s 2018 report, 56% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths were caused by head-on collisions. And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a head-on crash is more likely to occur in a rural area.
What is a Head-on Collision?
A direct head-to-head collision is also known as a frontal crash. This happens when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions crash into each other front-to-front.
This type of car accident is particularly dangerous because the force of the impact is doubled. The speed of each vehicle increases the kinetic energy that goes into the crash.
Why do Head-on Collisions Happen?
There are many reasons a frontal crash may occur, but here are some of the more common causes.
Ignoring Traffic Signs and Signals
In the case of the recent Elko, Nevada fatal crash, one of the drivers ignored the double yellow line. The double yellow line indicates a no passing zone. His disregard for this traffic law resulted in a fatal crash. Ignoring laws like this, or traffic signs like “one-way” or “yield,” can cause head-on crashes.
Poor Traffic Conditions
Bad weather like dense fog or snow storms can make it hard to see the road. Driving under low visibility increases the risk of crashing head-on to a car you didn’t see.
Avoiding debris in the road, potholes, or roadkill can cause a driver to swerve into another lane, resulting in a head-on collision.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs judgement. The risk of encountering an impaired driver can increase in the evening. Nighttime disorientation can cause a driver to enter a lane of oncoming traffic.
There is plenty to distract a driver these days. Texting, talking on the phone, navigating GPS, or changing radio stations or playlists, can take a driver’s mind off the road. Even eating or drinking while driving can act as a distraction.
Many head-on collisions are caused by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel. Driving tired or enduring long distances can cause drowsy drivers to lose their concentration. If you are feeling sleepy, the safest thing to do is leave the road and find a place to rest your eyes.
Sometimes a head-on collision can happen due to the car’s mechanical failure. Faulty brakes or a power steering outage can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and swerve into oncoming traffic.
Wrong Way on a One-Way Road
Accidentally traveling the wrong way on a one-way road can result in a head-on crash. Maybe confusion led you to enter a highway in the wrong direction. Sometimes a missed traffic sign or GPS can lead us astray. Whatever the reason, driving in the wrong direction on a one-way road can lead to a dangerous accident.
Elderly drivers might have slower reflexes. If they accidentally veer into oncoming traffic, they might not be able to get out of the way in time. Older drivers might experience confusion on the road, too. For example, if they misread a traffic sign, then they might accidentally drive on the wrong side of the road.
Before we examine the common head-on collision injuries, let’s recap why these collisions happen. As you have seen, driver impairment from fatigue, distraction, alcohol and slower reflexes can all play a part (in addition to other causes). If you’ve been the victim in a head-on collision (or any car accident caused by another driver) please call Anthem Injury Lawyers at (702) 857-6000. We offer a free consultation and can come to you for the appointment, if necessary.
Common Head-on Collision Injuries
A head-on collision is one of the most dangerous types of automobile accidents. Not only can they cause serious damage to your car, they can also cause serious injury to the drivers and passengers of both vehicles. Injuries vary from mild to life-threatening and, like in the Elko car accident, death at the scene.
Here are some of the more common injuries caused by frontal crashes.
- Back Injuries – The severity of a back injury can vary from mild back pain to spinal cord damage. A spinal cord injury could lead to partial or total paralysis.
- Broken Bones – Often head-on collisions cause broken bones because of the forceful impact of the crash. Arms and legs are vulnerable to injury because a seat belt doesn’t restrain your limbs.
- Burns – If the head-on crash results in a car fire, you might suffer from burns. Hot liquid like gas or oil can also cause serious burns if it comes into contact with your skin.
- Chest Injuries – In a head-on crash, your chest has a high chance of receiving most of the force. Although airbags will help lessen the blow, you could still get broken ribs or difficulty breathing.
- Cuts and Bruises – If you’re lucky, you might be able to walk away from a head-on crash with just some cuts, bruises, or abrasions. Sometimes an airbag can cause some bruising in the chest area. Seat belts can cause cuts or abrasions to your arm, shoulder, or pelvic area.
- Death – In the most extreme cases, head-on crashes can cause fatal injuries. Unfortunately, frontal crashes account for a significant percentage of car accident deaths.
- Head Injuries – You could suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) if your brain is hit from a direct blow to the head. Even if your brain is jostled inside the skull, this can lead to a TBI. The symptoms of TBI vary from minor headaches or dizziness to amnesia or comas.
- Internal Organ Damage – Your lungs, heart or other organs can get punctured by a broken rib. Other organs like the digestive tract, kidneys, and liver are also vulnerable in a head-on collision.
- Neck Injuries – The neck is particularly vulnerable in head-on accidents because the seat belt does not restrain it. You could get whiplash or more severe neck injuries.
- Scarring – Scarring can happen a number of ways in a head-on collision. Shattered glass, debris, or even contact with the airbag can cause facial injuries and scarring.
Experienced Las Vegas Car Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been in a head-on collision in the State of Nevada, you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney who is licensed in Nevada as soon as possible. The law firm of Anthem Injury Lawyers has a dedicated team of car accident lawyers and staff who are ready to help you with your car accident case.
Sometimes people are hesitant to call personal injury lawyers because they are worried about paying a fee for the first consultation. We offer free case evaluations; so, if you’ve been the victim in a car accident, you can speak to us (in our office or we’ll come to you) for free. Our office is conveniently located in Henderson, but we work with clients all over the Las Vegas Valley, including North Las Vegas, Summerlin, Spring Valley, Anthem, and the Strip. Contact us today for a free consultation at (702) 857-6000.