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7 Ways to Avoid a Head-On Collision

Published April 20, 2013 by Scott Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney
how to avoid a head-on collision

Even though cars are being made more crash worthy than ever, head-on collisions in New York and the U.S. almost always cause serious injuries or death.

That’s because the human body is not built to withstand the violent impact of two vehicles crashing head-on into each other.

A fatal example occurred April 18 on Long Island, where a driver was killed when he veered over the centerline and smashed into a vehicle coming the other way.

This is from the New York Post:

Suffolk County police say the accident occurred at 12:40 PM Thursday in Holtsville.

They say [the victim] was driving north on North Ocean when he crossed over into the southbound lane and struck a Volkswagen. The 56-year-old [victim] was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.

The 22-year-old driver of the Volkswagen was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

How to Avoid a Head-on Collision

A head-on collision can happen in many different ways.

Some of the most common contributing causes:

  1. Driving while drinking or drugged. Consuming alcohol or taking drugs – either prescription or legal – impairs a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. The unfortunate result can be a head-on collision. Even over-the-counter drugs can lead to impaired driving.
  2. Inattentive drivers. Motorists who don’t follow traffic signs, signals and arrows pose a risk to others on the road. Example: failing to yield to approaching traffic.
  3. Speeding. Traveling too fast is always risky. Sometimes it causes a head-on collision.
  4. Wrong way driving. Going the wrong way on a one-way street or heading into oncoming traffic can cause a head-on collision.
  5. Distracted driving. Taking your eyes off the road – even for a second – to send a text message or make a phone call can result in a loss of control of the vehicle. Other distractions: eating, grooming, playing with children in the car, adjusting the radio, rubbernecking.
  6. Drowsy driving. Operating a vehicle while fatigued or sleepy can be as dangerous as drinking.
  7. Hazardous conditions. Some head-on collisions are caused by inclement weather – especially snow, ice, rain and fog – or by road defects like potholes or sharp curves.


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