Preventing Head-On Collisions in Chicago

A head-on collision is a motor vehicle accident that occurs when two vehicles moving in the opposite direction crash into each other. Head-on collisions have multiple causes, including drunk driving, distracted driving, fatigue, and violations of traffic rules.

According to the 2015 Crash Facts and Statistics Report, released by the Illinois Department of Transportation in May 2017, head-on collisions accounted for less than one percent of all car accidents in Illinois that year. Although head-on collisions are relatively rare, it is still important that you be prepared for one as these accidents often have devastating consequences, including serious injury and death. In 2015, head-on collisions comprised approximately 11 percent of all fatal accidents. Luckily, there are numerous ways to protect oneself from head-on collisions.

The best way to avoid a head-on collision is to pay attention and make sure that you are fully aware of your surroundings while driving. Avoid distracting activities such as texting, talking on the phone, drinking, and eating while you drive and always pay close attention to pavement markings and be on the lookout for “Do Not Enter” or “Wrong Way” signs, as these markers are designed to prevent drivers from entering a roadway against traffic. You can also reduce your chances of becoming involved in a head-on collision by driving in the right lane in multi-lane traffic areas. Finally, when passing another vehicle on the left side of the road, always make sure that you have enough space to overtake the vehicle safely and avoid passing other vehicles if you are traveling on a two-way, two-lane road.

If you find yourself in a situation where a head-on collision is imminent, you should attempt to warn the oncoming driver by flashing your headlights or blasting your horn. You should also reduce the speed of your vehicle as much as is safely possible in order to reduce damage and risk of injury or fatality in the event of a collision. If possible, you should also steer towards the right of the oncoming vehicle and into a clear area like a shoulder. Never drive to the left of the approaching vehicle and into the lane of approaching traffic as the driver of the other vehicle may suddenly realize his or her mistake and re-enter the left-hand lane. Moreover, when entering the left-hand lane to avoid the approaching vehicle, you also risk colliding with other oncoming traffic.

Victims of head-on collisions may be able to make a personal injury claim to recover damages. If either you or a loved one has been a victim of a head-on collision, speaking with a personal injury attorney can help you evaluate your options.

Prior Blog Entry:

Car Seats Can Prevent Serious Injuries to Children Involved in Car Accidents, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published March 7, 2017.


2015 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics, Illinois Department of Transportation, published May 2017.

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