While the phrase “non-dangerous car accident” is a contradiction in terms, California head on collisions are often the most deadly of all California auto collisions. A head on collision occurs when the front end of one vehicle collides with the front end of another vehicle as the vehicles are traveling toward one another. These collisions are most common on freeways and intersections. Freeway head on collision in California are frequently caused by drunk drivers who enter the freeway at an off-ramp traveling in the wrong direction. When a head on collision in California occurs on the freeway, the combination of a high rate of speed along with the fact that all of the force is absorbed by the vehicles often means that vehicle occupants suffer catastrophic life-altering injuries and wrongful death.
Why Are California Head On Collisions Especially Deadly?
When accidents occur where the vehicles are traveling directly at one another, the force of the collision generally will be more intense than when the vehicles are involved in a rear-end, sideswipe or other collision where some of the energy from the force of the collision is not directly exerted on the vehicles. The fact that all of the force is absorbed by the vehicles in a head on collision makes these collisions extremely dangerous. A head on collision in which both vehicles of comparable weight are traveling toward each other at fifty mph is akin to a vehicle slamming into a brick wall at fifty miles per hour. This type of collision is even more dangerous than colliding directly head on with a parked vehicle because the parked vehicle would give way to some degree and absorb some of the force of impact.
There are other factors involved in California head on collisions that also contribute to the severity of injury associated with these accidents. Many times head on collisions do not allow a driver any time to engage in evasive action that might reduce the force of the impact. When a driver suddenly veers over the center line on the freeway, an approaching driver may have no time to react and steer away from the collision so that it is more of a glancing blow. Further, because the vehicles are moving toward each other, the time within which drivers have to react is reduced so that there is less time to avert the collision or slow the vehicles.
Another reason that many head on collisions in California result in gruesome carnage and severe injury is that the engine blocks of the vehicles tend to be pushed back into the passenger compartment of the vehicle. This type of collision can result in the engine block crushing vehicle occupants while the passenger compartment of the vehicle collapses around the driver and passengers. Sometimes after the initial impact in a California head on collision, one of the drivers may make sudden steering adjustments and try to recover after their vehicle ricochets away from the initial impact which may cause the driver who tried to regain control to rollover or collide with other vehicles.
What Are the Most Common Factors Involved in Causing California Head On Car Accidents?
Head on collisions are most commonly caused by drunk drivers because there is a natural tendency for intoxicated drivers to drift toward headlights. Head on crashes may also occur when drivers lose control of their vehicle and cross into oncoming traffic. These accidents are particularly common on two lane rural roads.
Sometimes drivers may proceed in the wrong direction because of outside factors including poor signage or tread separation resulting in tire blowouts. When these types of causes contribute to a head on collision, the public entity responsible for a confusing roadway or detour with inadequate signage or a vehicle manufacturer that produces a defective tire or other vehicle component may share liability. Some other common causes of head on collisions include:
- Unsafe passing on a two lane road
- Taking a curve too rapidly so that the vehicle swerves into oncoming traffic
- Distracted driving where the driver drifts into oncoming traffic
- Drowsy drivers that fall asleep behind the wheel
Providing a Path to Financial Recovery Following Devastating California Head On Crashes
When vehicle occupants are subjected to the intense force of a head on collision, the result may be devastating injuries including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, crushed or fractured bones, paraplegia, quadriplegia, damage to vital organs, disfigurement and even wrongful death. When suffering these types of serious injuries, you will need the money to pay for extensive medical bills, surgery, rehabilitative therapy and the repair of your vehicle. Because you may be off work for a prolonged period, you may also need damages for lost wages and future lost income. An experienced California head on collision accident lawyer may be able to seek these types of damages as well as damages that are harder to quantify, including pain and suffering, impairment of one’s marital relationship, punitive damages, emotional distress and impaired enjoyment of life experience.
California head on accident lawyers understand the devastating toll of suffering a sudden debilitating injury. A head on collision car accident lawyer can provide careful investigation of the facts, thorough analysis of the law, effective negotiation with insurance companies and persuasive courtroom advocacy. A California head on auto accident attorney also can answer your questions and advise you regarding your legal rights and remedies.