When you picture your worst-case scenario on the road, it may involve seeing a vehicle heading right toward you in your lane. Perhaps you even picture this happening more at night when all you can see is headlights, which may make you second guess whether that vehicle is actually in your lane or not, depending on the circumstances.
If you are like other drivers here in Pennsylvania, you hope to never see this nightmare become a reality. In fact, you may be wondering what you can do while driving to avoid a head-on collision.
These tips could help
While paying close attention to the roadway may be a given when it comes to avoiding a head-on collision, or any collision for that matter, you may have time to take other steps. These tips may help you avoid such a catastrophe if you see a vehicle coming at you in your lane:
- Move to the right as much as possible. It would be better to graze a tree or put your car into a ditch than allow the wrong-way vehicle to hit yours. In addition, your chance of survival may be better if you hit an object other than the car coming toward you.
- Move to the right as soon as possible. The sooner you begin making your move to allow the wrong-way vehicle to pass, the greater the chance that you can get out of its way without sustaining critical injuries or damage.
- Slow down as much and as soon as you can. One thing that makes head-on collisions fatal is speed. The force of the impact is less at slower speeds. This may also allow you to maintain control of your vehicle for evasive maneuvers and braking.
You may also want to drive as much to the right as is safe, as a general rule. The closer you are to the center line, the more possible it becomes for you to end up in a head-on collision.
Common causes of head-on collisions
Many head-on collisions occur under the following circumstances:
- Alcohol or drugs impair a driver.
- A driver allows a distraction such as a cell phone to divert his or her attention.
- A driver is too fatigued to drive safely.
- A driver makes a critical error.
Curves in the road can also increase the danger of this type of collision, since a miscalculation could cause a vehicle to stray over the center line.
The unavoidable head-on collision
If you end up in a head-on collision despite your best efforts, it's probably safe to say that you suffered serious injuries. You could be facing a significant recovery period, along with substantial monetary losses. You may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver (or the estate in case of that driver's death) to help cover your financial losses. Since you may need to focus on your recovery, it may be worthwhile to seek help as you navigate the civil court system.