A head-on collision is one of the most terrifying accidents drivers can get into. Not only do you have to witness the accident as it occurs, but the fatality rate is relatively high. Don’t despair – head on collisions are rare, and avoidable. Learn how to prevent head-on collisions with a few simple pieces of advice.
Why do head-on collisions happen?
Often, head-on collisions occur because of distractions, fatigue, intoxication, and bad decision-making on the part of the drivers involved. Curvy roads can also be a cause, though these aren’t generally as bad as the fully head-on collisions that come from straight stretches of road.
How to avoid head-on collisions?
The first most basic preventative precaution for head-on collisions is to pay attention. Even if the other drivers on the road are drowsy, distracted, drunk, or whatever the case, you will have more time to react. If you are fully aware of your surroundings, you’ll be able to see the driver swerving down the road. Turn on your headlights to bring the driver’s attention to your presence, even during the day. They’ll begin to think about the other cars on the road. But be prepared to drive into the shoulder if they continue to swerve toward you.
Never straddle or hug the centerline. This is just asking for head-on collisions, either from distracted drivers or from a slip of your hand that takes you into the oncoming lane. Drive in the right lane in multi-lane traffic areas, and if you are in the left, drive as close to the right as is safe. This is particularly true of curvy roads, so you can avoid the driver speeding around the bend toward you.
What to do if you’re faced with a head-on collision
Sometimes head-on collisions are unavoidable, despite your best precautionary efforts. There are actions to take in that situation that can reduce the risk of collision, or lessen the impact.
Reduce your speed.Don’t allow yourself to lose control by braking so suddenly that you skid, but slow down as much as is safely possible. If there is an impact, this will greatly reduce the damage done and the risk of fatality.
Drive to the right Ditches and shoulders are always better to collide with than other vehicles. If the driver is swerving into your lane and you’ve reduced your speed, drive toward the right of the road. This increases the odds of the other driver going right by you, rather than colliding with you. Also, the driver may realize his or her mistake and quickly try to correct the situation. In that case, you want to be as far right as possible, rather than left. If you are in the left and collide with him, it will be your fault in the eyes of the law. You also have less chance of surviving. This may be difficult on city roads with multiple lanes of traffic.
Be prepared. If you have to drive to the right, don’t wait until the last second to do so. If you begin leaning to the right before the other car is directly in front of you, you have a higher chance of avoiding colliding with a solid object. If you must hit a solid object, try for a light glance off of it at the side of your car. Don’t hit it head-on. Remember that you may have some damage done to your car, but it will certainly be better than a head-on.