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Head-On Collission Lawyer

Head-On Collission Lawyer

A head-on collision occurs when vehicles driving in opposite directions crash into each other, or when one driver crashes into a stationary object.

Head-on crashes are relatively uncommon, but when they do happen, they’re more likely to result in serious injuries and fatalities. From 2020 – 2022, the number of Texans killed in head on car accidents increased nearly 17%.

A driver who hits another driver head-on is often distracted, drowsy, attempting an unsafe pass, or confused. Proving that a driver caused a head-on collision may require help from a car accident lawyer. Jim Adler & Associates handles head-on car accident claims—and all personal injury claims—on a contingency fee basis.

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The Dangers of Head-On Crashes

Head-on crashes, also known as frontal crashes, are responsible for a disproportionate number of roadway fatalities. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), about 60% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in multi-vehicle crashes result from frontal impacts.

  • Fifty-nine percent of car occupant fatalities, sixty percent of pickup occupant fatalities, and fifty-nine percent of SUV occupant fatalities are caused by head-on impacts, says IIHS. Overall, frontal impacts cause 59% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths.
  • Head-on collisions are the first harmful event in approximately 11% of fatal motor vehicle crashes, reports the Insurance Information Institute.

A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that fatal head-on crashes are about twice as prevalent in rural areas than they are in urban areas.

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Texas Head-On Collision Statistics

In Texas, there were 636 people killed in head-on crashes in 2022. In 2021, 613 Texans died in head-on crashes, compared to 537 people killed in head-on crashes in 2020, TxDOT data shows.

TxDOT has identified head-on collisions as an area of emphasis for reducing fatalities and serious injuries. Roughly 3 out of 4 Texas head-on crashes take place in rural areas. As part of its #EndTheStreakTX project to reduce traffic deaths, TXDOT has installed concrete barriers along the median of frequent head-on crash sites, such as sections of RM 620 in western Travis County.

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Causes of Head on Collisions

TxDOT doesn’t specify the reasons behind head-on crashes, but a careful reading of safety data shows causes that include:

  • Failed to drive in single lane (contributing factor in 47,196 Texas crashes in 2022, including 832 fatal crashes)
  • Failed to pass safely (6,186 Texas crashes in 2022, including 32 fatal crashes)
  • Passed in no passing lane (1,363 crashes, 38 fatal crashes)

While not all these accidents are head-on accidents, most head-on collisions are caused by a driver leaving their lane and driving in the wrong direction.

  • On freeways and expressways, wrong way crashes can happen when a driver makes an improper maneuver at an intersection (i.e., failing to acknowledge a “DO NOT ENTER/WRONG WAY” sign), or crosses over the median on a divided highway into oncoming traffic.
  • In rural areas that have two-lane roads with traffic traveling in both directions, a head-on crash might occur when a driver attempts an unsafe pass and strikes a vehicle in the oncoming lane.

A report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) states that, “The vast majority of wrong-way collisions on controlled-access highways are head-on events.” The NTSB report also notes that a large proportion of wrong-way drivers are alcohol impaired.

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U.S. DOT Head-On Crash Study

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, roadway departures accounted for more than 57,000 highway deaths over a recent two-year period. More than one-quarter of these deaths were caused by a head on collision. Head on fatalities were most associated with the following roadway characteristics:

  • Undivided road
  • Speed limit above 50 mph
  • Rural areas
  • Curves
  • Wet/Icy road conditions

To keep vehicles on the roadway and reduce the chances of a head-on car accident, DOT proposes adding center line and edge line pavement markings, installing curve warning signs, placing center line rumble strips on 2-way roads with a double yellow line, and applying high-friction surface treatment.

DOT also recommends solutions to reduce the potential of a head on collision when a vehicle leaves the roadway, including adding space between center lines, increasing median and shoulder widths, and controlling roadside vegetation growth to improve drivers’ sight distance.

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Can I Sue a Government Agency for a Head-On Car Accident?

While agencies like the TxDOT and U.S. DOT have a role to play in improving roadway safety, each driver has a legal duty to safely operate their vehicle. This duty is reflected in Texas at-fault insurance laws.

It’s possible that a head on car wreck could be the fault of the government if a roadway section is determined to be unreasonably dangerous, but suing the government is difficult. A personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against an at fault driver is more likely to succeed. However, if a roadway was poorly marked or maintained and this caused you to crash head-on into an object or another vehicle, you may have grounds to file a government injury claim.

If you or a family member were injured in a head-on collision, a free consultation from a personal injury attorney at Jim Adler & Associates can let you know what your legal options are and what steps to take next.

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AAA Study on Dangerous Driving Behaviors

An increase in drunk driving, drowsy driving, and other forms of reckless driving could explain the increase in Texas roadway fatalities—including deadly head-on collisions—from 2020 to 2022.

The AAA 2021 Traffic Safety Culture Index found a worrisome increase in self-reported dangerous driving behaviors, such as:

  • Speeding (+12.4% from 2020 to 2021)
  • Using a cell phone while driving/distracted driving (+7.3%)
  • Running a red light (+10.1%)
  • Driving over the legal limit for drinking alcohol (+23.7%)
  • Driving within an hour of consuming marijuana (+13.6)
  • Driving when they had a hard time staying awake/fatigued driving (+8.7)

These are just the illegal and risky driving habits that people admitted to. The actual numbers could be much higher. Many of the drivers surveyed acknowledged these behaviors are dangerous yet engaged in them anyway.

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Common Head-On Crash Injuries

When two cars driving in opposite directions crash head on into each other, their combined velocities can lead to a violent frontal collision that causes serious injuries, including:

  • Back injuries
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Chest injuries
  • Facial deformities
  • Internal organ damage
  • Scarring
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Whiplash

Head on Collision Injury Costs

Healthcare costs in America are skyrocketing. If you were involved in a head on collision, you literally may not be able to afford it. More than half of Americans say they can’t pay for a $1,000 emergency.

Even a non-injury or property-damage only crash costs on average $5,000 – $7,000. Injury crashes can result in lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and other costs totaling $20,000 – $40,000 or more. And disabling or fatal crashes can add up to $155,000 – $1.78 million.

The actual costs of a head on collision can be much higher. In addition to extreme physical trauma, victims of frontal impact crashes can suffer emotional and psychological trauma, reduced quality of life, and an inability to provide household services for family members.

Both economic and non-economic injuries can be covered by a car accident settlement. But getting everything you’re owed may require help from a personal injury attorney.

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Legal Help for Head on Car Accidents

Two vehicles colliding head-on can be a catastrophic, life-changing event.

Many head on collisions have familiar causes such as driving drunk, not paying attention, driving at high speed, drowsy and aggressive driving, and driver confusion. Unfortunately, proving another driver is at fault for a head-on accident isn’t always easy, even if they were doing something egregious like driving on the wrong side of the road or going the wrong way on a one-way street.

The other driver’s insurance company doesn’t have to take your word for it that the other driver was at fault. They may be more interested in saving money than figuring out what happened. You must prove your claim. And even if the facts are in your favor, the insurer could delay, deny, or underpay your settlement.

Whether you suffered severe injuries or only minor injuries, it is your right to hire a lawyer, conduct an independent accident investigation, and negotiate a fair settlement. Sometimes, filing a car accident lawsuit is the only way to obtain the compensation you deserve.

There are many auto accident law firms in Texas, but there’s only one firm that’s home to The Texas Hammer. Jim Adler & Associates has been helping injured Texans for more than 50 years. We offer free case reviews and have a “no win, no fee” client policy. Call or message us to schedule a FREE consultation.

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