Head-On Car Accidents
A head-on car accident occurs when the front of one vehicle crashes into the front of another vehicle or object. These collisions are some of the most terrifying to drivers and passengers because they are able to observe the source of the impact before the collision. It is common to hear individuals say that they “thought they were going to die” or that they saw their “life flash before their eyes,” after being involved in a head-on accident. For this reason, head-on car accidents can cause significant emotional injuries in addition to serious physical injuries.
Most people are well aware that head-on car accidents can cause severe injuries and even death. This is especially true at high speeds where the engine of a vehicle and dashboard can be pushed into the interior cabin upon impact. This intrusion into the seating area of the vehicle can cause significant crush injuries and other trauma. In these situations, seatbelts and airbags will not adequately protect the drivers and passengers seated inside.
With respect to older vehicles that do not have airbags, head-on car accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. The use of airbags in cars was not required by law until the late 1990s. Although, some car manufacturers started installing airbags before then, it was not mandatory until 1998. As a result, in older vehicles without airbags, head-on collisions can result in substantial injuries as the faces and heads of passengers and drivers can be thrust into the windshield or other hard interior surfaces of the vehicle. This can result in broken bones, head trauma, spinal injuries, severe facial lacerations, among many others serious injuries. The same can even happen in newer year vehicles if the airbag malfunctions or fails to deploy upon impact.
If an airbag does not deploy or a vehicle does not have an airbag and the driver is not wearing a seatbelt, a head-on car accident can easily lead to death. In these situations, the driver can be ejected violently from the vehicle and make contact with the roadway or other objects outside the vehicle. According to 2017 statistics published by the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA), 80 percent of occupants totally ejected from passenger vehicles are killed. For those that survive, compound fractures, degloving injuries, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries and limb loss may be the result. If you or a loved one has experienced a serious injury as the result of a head-on collision, our Scottsdale personal injury attorneys are here to help.
Head-on collisions may also result in serious injuries even at low to moderate speeds. At lower speeds airbags may still deploy. This is because sensors are positioned in the front of vehicles so that airbags deploy upon a frontal impact. Although airbags are an important, life-saving, safety feature, they can cause injuries because of the amount of force required to inflate them instantly. According to the NHTSA, “because airbags deploy very rapidly, serious or sometimes fatal injuries can occur if the occupant is too close to…the airbag” when it is activated. Airbags can still cause injuries even if a driver or passenger is properly positioned in the vehicle. Airbag deployment can cause: bruising and fracturing of the facial bones and chest, neck injuries, concussions, burns, among other injuries.
Head-on car accidents can result when a driver is confused or impaired. These collisions often occur as a result of a driver going the “wrong way” or against the direction of traffic. This can happen when a driver is intoxicated, elderly or just unfamiliar with his or her surroundings.
Likewise, these accidents often happen when someone is attempting to pass another vehicle on a two-lane road with each lane of traffic headed in opposite directions. This can be the result of a driver misjudging the distance available to safely make the pass or just the result of an unsafe passing practice that violates Arizona law. Arizona has laws that prohibit unsafe passing in Scottsdale and the surrounding areas. These laws are set forth in Arizona Revised Statute 28-726 which states:
A person shall not drive a vehicle to the left side of the roadway under the following conditions:
1. When approaching the crest of a grade or on a curve in the highway where the driver’s view is obstructed within such distance as to create a hazard in the event another vehicle might approach from the opposite direction.
2. When approaching within one hundred feet of or traversing any intersection or railroad grade crossing or where appropriate signs or markings have been installed to define a no passing zone.
3. When the view is obstructed on approaching within one hundred feet of any bridge, viaduct or tunnel.
When someone is negligent or otherwise violates Arizona law and causes a head-on car accident, he or she is responsible for the harm and injuries that result. If you or a loved one has experienced a head-on car accident and suffered injuries, contact our Scottsdale car accident attorneys today. Our attorneys will explain your options and help you deal with the emotional and physical injuries that you are experiencing.