A head-on collision happens when a vehicle crosses over the centerline or median of a road, leading to a crash into an oncoming vehicle. The results are often devastating, especially at high speeds. Most of the time these types of car accidents occur inadvertently, and they can be avoided.
Drivers can cause a head-on collision in a number of ways including:
Failing to pass a car correctly
Driving while drowsy
Driving while distracted including cellphone use and texting
Reaching for an object in the vehicle
Looking for an external object or destination while driving
According to the NYS Department of Transportation, 3,500 injuries and 120 fatalities happen each year because of head-on and opposite direction sideswipe crashes. 1 in 5 deadly accidents are from two vehicles hitting head-on in non-intersection crashes. In 2008 the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials reported that every 21 minutes someone dies as the result of lane departure.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in 2006 that 80% of collisions were due to some form of driver inattention before the crash.
Because of these high numbers, New York is starting to install center lane rumble strips to combat the issue. The strips will not be placed on all roads, and are not a guarantee for safety. Factors involved when considering which roads will receive them include specific size requirements, speed limits, whether or not there is a raised median present, and the volume of traffic it receives.
It is ultimately up to the driver to act responsibly and avoid potentially deadly behaviors. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury from a head-on collision due to driver negligence, contact an experienced NY car accident attorney.