A head on collision with another vehicle is one of the most violent and dangerous crashes. This car accident happens when one vehicle slams into another from the opposite direction – head on. These types of serious accidents are relatively rare but make up a large percentage of the fatal car collision injuries reported each year. This is probably because of the high-speed nature of the crashes. When two cars are going 50 MPH hit each other head on, the impact of the crash is at a devastating 100 MPH. This type of speed is too much force for even the safest motor vehicles to sustain without serious or fatal injury to occupants.
In Illinois, for example, there were 2000 injuries in head on crashes last year, with these crashes causing 2% of the car accident injuries for that state. The most common types of head on collision injuries are:
- Head trauma: Even if the driver or passenger is wearing a seatbelt and the air bag functions as intended, the person’s head can still strike the steering wheel, windshield, dashboard or other object in the car, causing serious head trauma. Head trauma can cause serious brain injury that may result in death. Even less severe head trauma can cause a serious concussion that affects brain function for days, months, years or permanently.
- Broken bones: Many head on accident cause broken arms, hands, legs, pelvis and feet. It is frequent for much of the energy in the head on crash to be transferred to the lower body, leading to many broken bones below the waist. The legs and feet are less well protected than the head and torso in these crashes.
- Lacerations: The air bags cause can lacerations to the face, arms, hands and chest. Also, bruises or contusions can affect most of the body, including the face, arms and chest.
- Whiplash: This is wearing the head snaps back and forth on the neck during the crash. Whiplash can cause serious pain and injury that is difficult to see on an X-ray but is very real. It can be a debilitating injury.
- Concussion: If the brain hits the inside of the skull during the sudden stop of a head on crash, it can cause bruising and/or bleeding. A concussion can be severe enough to cause very serious, long term brain injury that can leave victims never the same again. Serious brain injuries due to concussion are notoriously hard to diagnose and require the help of an experienced medical team and personal injury attorney.
- Internal organ damage: When the crash occurs, the force of the seatbelt hitting the body can cause serious trauma to the lungs, stomach, intestines, spleen and liver. These injuries can be fatal if bleeding is severe enough. Such trauma may not be immediately apparent, and it is important for victims to be seen by a medical professional right away.
You can reduce your chances of being in a head on collision by following these pointers:
- Always drive the speed limit, and slow down at night so that you can hitting things that you cannot see as well during the day.
- Never drink and drive or use drugs and drive. Many of these terrible accidents are caused by intoxication.
- Avoid driving at night if you are fatigued. Many head on collisions are due to people falling asleep behind the wheel.
- Be certain that you are going the right way on a highway or interstate, especially at night. It is possible to become disoriented in an unfamiliar area or due to fatigue and drive the wrong way.
Head on collisions cause some of the most severe, and often fatal injuries. It is very important to be seen by a medical professional right away and to have your case reviewed by an attorney soon. Medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering from a head on collision can result in hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in damages. Few people have the financial resources to handle this burden alone.
With the help of a personal injury attorney in your state, you may obtain compensation for your injuries, including medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. Or, if you lose your loved one in such a tragic crash, you can file a personal injury lawsuit and recover funds for lost future wages and your pain and suffering, as well as funeral bills and medical expenses.