Head-On Collisions Remain a Deadly Threat to Many
Unfortunately, head-on collisions can be devastating to witness and hard for first responders to handle. And all too often, survivors must endure lengthy treatment regimens and complete long-term rehabilitation programs. However, our law firm’s experience in handling these types of major accident claims can help clients win sizeable settlement awards or fully comprehensive verdicts.
Once you contact our office, we will carefully review the facts of your case to see if there’s clear proof that another party negligently caused your accident. In some cases, you may still be able to recover for your injuries, even if a small percentage of fault for the collision is assigned to you.
What follows is a brief definition of a “head-on collision,” along with a review of a typical head-on accident that occurred in NYC earlier this year. There’s also information about where these events frequently take place, the types of injuries often suffered – and the major causes of these types of collisions.
What exactly are “head-on” collisions – and where do they frequently occur?
As the term implies, these accidents occur when two drivers directly hit each other with the front-end portions of their vehicles. When at least one truck is involved, there is an even greater chance of major fires and lost lives.
Among the most common places where these events occur are on or near freeway offramps and onramps. When someone is driving distracted, they may also carelessly drive through an intersection or make a dangerous turn in an unfamiliar parking lot. These types of collisions can also occur at stoplights – or when entering roundabouts or interchanges. Head-on collisions can basically take place whenever drivers are highly distracted and not constantly viewing the road ahead and their side mirrors. In rare cases, a driver mistakes his/her accelerator for the brake pedal.
One 2020 NYC accident left several victims dead – and another critically injured
Early one morning in January, an off-duty FDNY firefighter saw a Honda Accord (driven by a 26-year-old), pass him by while traveling at a fast speed. These two motorists were on opposite sides of a Queens highway. Just seconds later, the fireman, who was heading home from his second job, saw what he described as a “big puff of smoke ahead.” The young Honda driver had apparently smashed head-on into a silver Hyundai sedan – close to the Cross Island Parkway.
After calling 911, the off-duty firefighter (Thomas Roche) and others drove to the crash scene and tried to pry open the doors of the vehicles. Unfortunately, even while using tools he had in his truck, Roche and those trying to help him were unable to pry the doors open.
All four of the accident victims who had been riding in the two cars, were sent to area hospitals. Sadly, that same night, only the 26-year-old Hyundai driver remained alive in critical condition.
While head-on collisions account for only a small percentage of all accidents, they almost always result in the most catastrophic or deadly injuries – largely due to the size and speed of the cars involved
Here is a brief overview of the types of careless driver mistakes that often lead to these devastating events.
Many drivers cause head-on collisions by remaining behind the wheel while incapacitated
One or more of the following mistakes nearly always play a role in head-on accidents.
- The driver is drunk or otherwise incapacitated (perhaps due to prescription or illegal drugs)
- The person is texting or talking on a phone – or otherwise distracting himself/herself.
- The driver has been behind the wheel too long and is fatigued – and has lost full control over his/her visual abilities or physical reflexes. Of course, some drivers just fall asleep at the wheel for one or more reasons related to fatigue.
- A car maintenance problem occurs – like brake failure – or a tire blows out. Keeping a vehicle in top condition prevents many serious accidents from occurring.
- The driver has failed to carefully view all the surrounding traffic or street signs before entering a road or lane that may just be for one-way travel. Onramps and offramps are also too frequently mistaken for one another by confused, drunk or fatigued drivers.
- Bad weather conditions. Many people lose control of their vehicles due to hydroplaning or difficulty moving about on ice.
- The driver is unlicensed and has never taken part in any comprehensive driver training program.
- The driver may be speeding or failing to accurately judge distances when changing lanes
What are some of the most common injuries suffered by victims of head-on collisions?
- Spinal cord injuries. Far too often, people’s bodies are crushed into terrible, trapped positions that can lead to quadriplegia, paraplegia, and other challenging forms of paralysis.
- Crushed, broken or fractured bones. When front bumpers collide, especially when one or both drivers were speeding, the front ends of vehicles often cave-in – severely injuring (if not killing) many who were riding inside. Rib fractures and broken femurs are common injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries. While a lucky passenger may only suffer a light concussion, others may never fully recover from a wide range of head injuries. Many who die in head-on collisions simply succumb to their brain trauma at the scene of the accident. Other victims may wind up lingering in a coma — or must be placed into one — to help them fully recover.
- Serious cuts, lacerations, and abrasions
- Major heart problems, including arterial dissection
- Serious or fatal burns. These are often caused when a truck carrying combustible liquids hits another vehicle. Sadly, many burn injuries are extremely painful and can take many months or years of treatment just for the victim’s pain to lessen. The long-term psychological damage tied to these injuries can also require many years of therapy.
- While one may not occur immediately after the accident, major head injuries caused by hitting one’s head on hard objects (like the dashboard or steering wheel) can lead to the formation of blood clots that may eventually cause a stroke.
- Herniated discs
- Serious harm to one or more internal organs
Different studies indicate that those most likely to survive a head-on collision are usually driving a newer model car with a heavier weight than most vehicles on the road. Survivors also tend to have fully adequate airbags that open readily — and fully protect the driver and all passengers.
If you have suffered serious injuries in a head-on collision (or another type of vehicle accident), you need to immediately contact our New York City head-on collision law firm. After carefully investigating the facts of your case, we will fight hard to win the maximum compensation available under the law. We want all our clients to fully recover for all their pain and suffering lost wages, medical expenses, and other accident-related losses.