When two opposing vehicles collide front to front, it is called a head-on or frontal collision. When those two vehicles are the same size and traveling at the same speed toward each other, the impact is like hitting an immovable wall.
The force of these impacts is what makes these accidents so devastating.
Statistics for Head-on Collisions in North Carolina
Driving the wrong way on the road towards oncoming traffic and crossing the double yellow line are the leading causes of head-on collisions. In North Carolina, there were 9,893 reported crashes from vehicles crossing the centerline or traveling in the wrong direction in 2021.
Intoxicated Driving – Intoxication causes impaired judgment. The dangers of driving after drinking alcohol are very well known, yet some people still make reckless decisions and choose to drive while drunk anyway.
Distracted Driving – There are many distractions that pull a driver’s attention away from the road. A very common one is cell phone usage. Cell phones are the worst distraction for all motor vehicle operators. Reading a text message takes the driver’s eyes off the road for precious seconds that could have been used to prevent an accident. Using other devices, as well as eating and drinking, are very distracting and have been found to cause accidents.
Blindly Following GPS – Navigation systems are tools that help drivers find their destinations and necessary stops along the way. However, tools are only as useful as the person attempting to use them. For example, the voice from the GPS says to turn left, so some people simply turn left without looking through their windshield, where they would see a big sign warning them not to enter. The road they needed was only a few yards away, but they turned into oncoming traffic instead.
Unsafe Passing – There are areas that allow drivers to pass other vehicles by using the lane for oncoming traffic, provided that it is safe to do so. Sometimes, impatient or impaired drivers will attempt to pass in this way when the oncoming traffic lane is not clear or when they are in a no-pass zone. Drunk drivers are especially likely to misjudge the distance of an oncoming vehicle as well as the speed required to complete the pass.
Fatigue – Driving tired is very dangerous. Drivers may nod off to sleep and drift into oncoming traffic.
Driving the Wrong Direction – Making a wrong turn can cause someone to become trapped going the wrong way down a one-way road or on the wrong side of the median. This dangerous situation is a nightmare for many drivers but is especially common among drunk drivers. Their impaired judgment and attention cause reckless decisions and have resulted in many tragic collisions.
Speeding Around Curves – Driving too fast around curves can cause tires to lose traction and skid on the road. Drivers lose control of their vehicles, causing them to veer off their path and into oncoming traffic.
Compensation For Head-On Collisions With Drunk Drivers
In North Carolina, the driver who caused the crash through negligence is responsible for compensating the victims for damages. Damage claims can include the following:
Medical Expenses – When you are injured in an accident, you must get medical attention. Medical bills in the United States are very expensive, add up quickly, and are often the most costly part of the accident. Your claim will include any medical bills directly related to your accident, such as hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitation, therapy, medication, specialized equipment and care, and more.
Lost Wages – Most people are unable to work while they recover from their injuries. Some victims are able to take sick days or disability leave from their jobs, and they will receive compensation for having to use those days as well. Losing your income is stressful, especially when bills are accumulating. Any lost earnings will be included in your claim.
Loss of Earning Potential – When a victim loses their job or is reduced to a lower value position due to their injuries, future earning potential had the collision not occurred will be used to calculate lost earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering – Head-on collisions often result in severe injuries. The acute and chronic pain, as well as emotional distress caused by these injuries, are given financial value in an attempt to compensate the victim for their harrowing experience.
Property Damage – The victim’s vehicle and any belongings that were damaged or destroyed in the accident will be recovered through payment for repair, replacement, or the reduction of their value.
Wrongful Death – When the unthinkable happens, and the driver or any of the passengers that were hit by the drunk driver did not survive, their family members can file a wrongful death claim and receive compensation on behalf of the victim.
Are Lawyers Necessary to Help Receive Compensation?
Proving who was at fault for a head-on collision can be difficult.
The force of the impact can throw the vehicles in different directions and possibly even right off the road. The authorities responding to the accident may not be able to determine immediately which car was at fault.
Personal injury lawyers trained to handle drunk driving accidents can enlist help from accident recreation specialists to find the cause of the collision and prove who was at fault.
If the driver who is determined to be at fault was also intoxicated at the time of the accident, a drunk driving accident lawyer can go beyond the driver in seeking negligence. Whoever served the driver alcohol or allowed them to drive could also be held responsible for the crash.
Drunk driving accident lawyers know how to handle insurance companies and will negotiate on your behalf for all the compensation you are entitled to receive. They will handle the lawsuit if necessary as well.