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Why are head-on collisions so serious?

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

From time to time, major car accidents make both local and national headlines. This makes sense for a couple of reasons. First, because most individuals have been behind the wheel at one time or another, everyone has thought about having a serious collision. Furthermore, gruesome accidents tap into the morbid curiosity that most humans have. 

Last fall, a head-on collision in Upstate New York killed three people. The story made its way into state newspapers and national magazines. If you ever have a head-on collision with a negligent driver, the matter may make the news. Unfortunately, it may also leave you with life-altering injuries or result in your death. Why are head-on collisions so serious, though? 

The physics of head-on collisions 

When two vehicles are moving toward one another at the same speed, they have accumulated momentum. If a head-on collision occurs, both vehicles are likely to stop virtually immediately in the same space. The energy from each vehicle dissipates, often causing considerable damage to vehicles and substantial injuries to passengers. Put simply, a head-on collision is like hitting a brick wall. 

Common causes 

While head-on collisions may occur for a variety of reasons, some causes are more common than others. If you have a head-on crash, the following may be contributing factors: 

  • Inclement weather 
  • Distracted driving 
  • Drunk driving 
  • Speeding 
  • Other types of negligent driving 


Even though your vehicle likely has dozens of safety features, the serious nature of head-on collisions is likely to leave you with catastrophic injuries. Amputations, head trauma, paralysis, lacerations, broken bones and even death are regular consequences of these types of crashes. Accordingly, if you have a serious automobile accident, it is vital that you seek emergency medical treatment immediately. 

While any type of car crash is likely to ruin your day, head-on collisions may destroy your life. By understanding the serious nature of these crashes, you can keep from becoming a headline every time you climb behind the wheel of your car, truck or SUV.