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Although all car accidents are dangerous and terrifying for the people involved, few car accidents are more frightening or deadly than a head-on crash. This is because during a head on crash, the force of impact dramatically increases because both vehicles are going at a steady speed. Because of this, drivers have little to no time to react and try to avoid the collision.  

What is a Head-On Collision? 

A head-on collision occurs when the front end of any 2 vehicles collide when the vehicles are going in opposing directions. In other words, it’s when the front ends of 2 vehicles going in the opposite direction hit each other.  

What Happens in a Head-On Collision? 

During a head-on collision, your car is hitting another car, likely at a high speed. The speeds multiply, so if you are going down a road at 55 miles per hour, and the other car is going 55 miles per hour, it is like your car hitting a brick wall at 110 miles per hour. During the actual crash, your car decelerates from 55- 0 miles per hour very rapidly. This will not only crush the front of the car, it will also wreak havoc on your insides.  

What Injuries Does a Head-On Collision Cause?  

Because of the nature of head-on collisions, they can cause almost any type of injury. Here’s a list of the most common.  

  • Head Injuries and ConcussionsIn a head-on collision, the rapid deceleration of the car causes your brain to jostle against the inside of your skull. This can cause a brain injury.  
  • Broken Bones: In the split second before the accident, your entire body tenses, which makes you go rigid. In this state, your bones can snap very easily.  
  • Whiplash and Neck InjuriesIn the crash, your neck and spine will undulate like a wave. This can cause whiplash, neck injuries, or back injuries.
  • FatalityHead on collisions cause more fatalities than any other type of crash.  

What Causes a Head-On Collision?  

According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, most head-on crashes result from a motorist making an unintentional error (e.g. swerving into the oncoming traffic). That can be caused by: 

  • Falling asleep at the wheel 
  • Being distracted by something or someone inside or outside of the car – like a cell phone, the radio, or a passenger 
  • Drunk driving 
  • Driving too fast on a curve 
  • Slippery road conditions (rain and ice) 
  • Tire blow-outs and other mechanical problems 
  • Swerving to avoid debris or an animal or pedestrian in the road 
  • Over-compensating after drifting onto the shoulder 
  • Poor visibility (e.g. fog or rain) that obscures the center line 
  • Driving the wrong way 

Are Head-On Collisions Deadly?  

Head-on collisions only make up about 2% of all accidents across the United States, but over 10% of those are fatal. This makes head-on collisions the second most deadly type of accident, second only to rollover accidents. In Arizona in 2018, there were 1,875 head-on accidents, which made up 1.73% of all accidents.  

At What Speed is a Head-On Collision Fatal?  

In head-on collisions, perhaps more than any other type of car accident, speed matters. When the cars are going slowly, the risk of serious injury hovers at about 1%. When the speed goes to 50 mph, the risk of injury increases to about 69%, with the risk of severe injuries or fatality going up to 52%. When either car is going 70 miles per hour or more, a fatality or serious injury is almost guaranteed.  

Where do Head-On Collisions Happen?  

Many head-on crashes occur on rural roads, often on undivided two-lane roads. Head-on crashes are also more common in places like construction zones, where the lane size is reduced, and the usual dividers may not be present. Highway ramps are also a common place for head-on collisions, because drivers may confuse on-ramps with off-ramps. Perhaps counter-intuitively, most head-on crashes don’t relate to failed attempts to pass on a two-lane road or on highways.  

Resources Near Me 

If you have been in a head-on accident and need to have your car repaired, here are some mechanics who can help.  

Phoenix Best Mobile Mechanic 

Auto Repair 2 You  

Action Auto Repair 

Client Reviews

I am so thankful for this law firm. I got into an accident with 2 other cars and was sued, even though it was determined that the accident was not my fault. The person who’s fault it was came after me anyway! The front of my car was completely smashed in and they only walked away with a small bumper dent. I lost a whole car that I had just got! Thompson Law Firm made me feel welcome and heard. They also helped me win the case! I highly recommend them, you can tell that they love what they do because they give it their all.
– Britteny Bailey

Get Help Now 

At the Thompson Law Firm, we have more than 10 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries from car accidents, including head-on accidents. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office. 

If you have been in a car accident that is not your fault, contact Thompson Law Firm in Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in the greater Phoenix area including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Maricopa, Globe, and Queen Creek. 

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