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The Threat Posed by Head-On Collisions is Serious in Phoenix

Any type of car accident can be and often is frightening. Whether one occurs on a busy street or a residential roadway, on an interstate or in a school zone, in the morning, the evening, or at night, collisions are always unfortunate and can be very harmful. But the truth is that some types of collisions are more dangerous than others.

Head-on collisions are more prone to cause injuries and even deaths than are some other types of accidents like rear-end collisions or mere “fender benders.” The reasons are complex and are grounded in the physics behind these incidents. A head-on collision involves the front ends of two vehicles striking one another so that each car sustains damage to the front of it. When compared to a side impact or an offsetting strike, head-on collisions can have greater opposing forces because a vehicle typically is moving forward prior to impact just to be jerked in the exact opposite direction of travel. Drivers and passengers inside a car that is involved in a head-on accident find themselves thrown forward out of their seats and against a seat belt before being slammed back against their seats. In some instances, a driver may strike a steering wheel or other object in the car if the force of the crash is great enough.

Head-on crashes can happen in any state in the country and at any time. Recent years have seen a large number of these crashes in the Phoenix area, though, so motorists who drive in Maricopa County are advised to consider ways to prevent head-on accidents from happening to them.

Most of the head-on collisions that have been heavily reported and covered by the local media involve a wrong way driver and often involve a driver on an interstate or expressway. Wrong-way drivers are operating their vehicles against the laws of the state and may be doing so intentionally or negligently. Far too often, these drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs which cause them to not realize they are driving the wrong way in the first place. Unfortunately, it can be impossible to avoid an oncoming vehicle in your lane if that vehicle is traveling in the wrong direction. The time you have to react may be limited because the gap between you and the oncoming car is closing much faster than if both vehicles were traveling in the same direction, leaving you with a very limited ability to steer away from an impact. However, by ensuring you are familiar with the roads you travel, checking your own conduct to make sure you are driving in the right direction, and refraining from driving after you have been drinking or using drugs, you can help to promote the safety of everyone in the area by limiting the chances that you will be the cause of a head-on accident.

Another reason that Phoenix sees a lot of head-on collisions has to do with the nature of the city and the roads that connect it. Head-on crashes are particularly common in more rural, less traveled areas where opposing traffic shares lanes immediately next to each other and without a divider. Often, this happens on two lane roads in less developed parts of town or on the outskirts of busier areas. Here, it is easy for a driver traveling in one direction to unintentionally cross a center line and bring a vehicle into the oncoming path of another driver legally occupying the second lane. When these collisions happen at higher speeds, the resulting impact can be devastating and personal injuries and even death may result. Drivers who travel these roads are advised to watch for drifting motorists operating in an opposing direction and are further advised to keep focused on their own conduct to avoid as many accidents as possible.

Phoenix sees numerous head-on collisions every year and many of those crashes harm people who simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you or your loved one was injured in a collision and you have questions about your options, speaking with a personal injury attorney may help you realize whether you are entitled to payment for your damages.

Prior Blog Entry:

Why are So Many Cyclists Killed While Riding in Phoenix?, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 23, 2016.

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