person in ambulance

Head-on collisions can be some of the most devastating kinds of car accidents. Tremendous forces are involved when two motor vehicles collide head-on. These crashes can result in serious head and orthopedic injuries, or even death, for both passengers and drivers.

If you have been injured in a car accident, our personal injury attorneys can examine the details of your case and help determine who may be at fault. We will work with medical and crash reconstruction experts to help establish liability and do everything possible to ensure that you and your family receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to by law.

What are the Dangers of Head-on Collisions?

Head-on collisions are one of the most dangerous types of car collisions. In a head-on collision, two vehicles moving in opposite directions collide, creating a tremendous transfer of force and energy. These forces can propel the driver and passengers into the windshield and can eject them if they are not wearing seatbelts. If a person is ejected, the resulting injuries are often fatal. Even if a person is properly restrained by a safety belt, severe brain and orthopedic injuries can still occur. At Hardy, Wolf & Downing, we can tell you from firsthand experience that you must wear your seatbelt; it is the difference between life and death. Literally.

Common Causes of Head-on Collisions

Head-on collisions occur when a driver crosses the wrong side of the road because of lack of experience, poor judgment, excessive speed, impaired operation, or distracted driving. Sometimes a driver loses control because of bad weather conditions or attempts to avoid an obstacle on the road. More often, however, the driver who crosses into oncoming traffic is impaired – by alcohol or lack of sleep, for example – or uses poor judgment in entering oncoming traffic to pass another vehicle.

Impairments Leading to Head-on Collisions

Car Accidents in Rural Areas

Studies show that most head-on collisions occur on rural, undivided, two-lane roads and do not involve a driver attempting to pass another driver. Instead, they involve some other cause, such as impaired driving.

Drunk Driving Accidents

Head-on collisions are especially common – and deadly – when a driver is drunk. There are two main ways that drunk driving specifically can lead to a head-on crash: departing from the lane and driving the wrong way.

  • Departing from the lane: A common sign that a driver may be impaired is their vehicle is swerving back and forth, sometimes crossing over a lane marker. If a drunk driver swerves over the double yellow line and suddenly crosses the path of oncoming cars, innocent drivers often don’t have time to stop or even slow down to avoid crashing head-on into the drunk driver.
  • Driving the wrong way: Drunk drivers have a lessened sense or lack spatial awareness and commonly make wrong turns or miss a turn. In some cases, a drunk driver will turn the wrong way down a one-way street or enter the highway the wrong way. This often leads to a head-on crash with an oncoming car, especially if the drunk driver has forgotten to turn on their lights.

Drivers That Fall Asleep at the Wheel

Texting and driving

According to the CDC, drowsy drivers cause a disproportionate number of head-on and rear-end collisions. Even if not asleep, drivers impaired by drowsiness have trouble keeping control of the vehicle so that it does not drift into an oncoming lane. These crashes can be especially serious as the at-fault driver sometimes does not brake before the collision.

Distracted Drivers

Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in crashes due to distracted driving caused by smartphones. Despite state law prohibiting their use while driving, we have had serious car collisions due to drivers texting or taking their eyes off the road to look at their phones.

Effects of Head-on Collisions

Head-on collisions often result in serious or fatal injuries, including:

  • Death
  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries, ranging from mild concussions to traumatic brain injury
  • Deep cuts and severe bruising
  • Neck and back injuries, including broken vertebrae, whiplash, neck sprains, and herniated discs

How to Prove Liability in a Head-on Collision Lawsuit

Any head-on collision is rarely “just an accident,” and in most cases, someone was negligent in the operation of their vehicle. Under Maine law, liability must be proven, and to do this, the evidence must be preserved.

To establish liability in your case, the car accident attorneys at Hardy, Wolf & Downing will:

  • Preserve evidence and document the scene
  • Work with engineering experts to show how the accident occurred and who was at fault
  • Consult with doctors to ensure that the full scope of the injuries is understood and account for future medical treatment

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Get the compensation you deserve. Contact Hardy, Wolf & Downing today to get started with an initial free consultation to talk to a lawyer about your situation.

Maine Attorneys, Hardy, Wolf & Downing Can Help

People injured in auto accidents almost always receive a larger recovery under an insurance policy when a lawyer represents them. The car accident lawyers at Hardy, Wolf & Downing have over four decades of experience in representing and negotiating insurance claims for injured clients – we know how the system works and how to get the job done. Contact our personal injury lawyers for a no-charge, no-obligation consultation by calling 1-800-INJURED.