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Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions continue to occur for a variety of reasons.  They present a serious traffic safety problem.  Due to the highly traumatic nature of these crashes, injuries to vehicle occupants are usually serious in nature.  Many of these injuries are life-threatening in nature, and fatalities can occur.

Among the reasons for these head-on collisions include:

When an impaired driver crosses the center line

If a driver crosses the center line and drives into the opposing lanes, there is an immediate possibility of a crash if there is traffic in the opposing lanes.  There can be many reasons as to why a driver would drive into opposing traffic.  Among the most common reasons is that the driver is impaired, either through excessive alcohol consumption and/or drug usage. 
This impairment, if high enough, can easily cause the driver to swerve or drift across the center line and have a frontal collision with an oncoming vehicle.

Wrong-way drivers

Another scenario involving impaired drivers becoming involved in head-on collisions is the so-called "wrong-way drivers."  These motorists drive in the wrong direction on the expressway, usually due to a high level of impairment.  Many fatal vehicle accidents in the Chicago area as well as throughout Illinois have occurred due to this wrong-way driving.  Summaries of many of these accidents are seen in posts under the "Wrong Way Drivers" category.  As seen in those posts, due to the highly traumatic nature of head-on collisions, a relatively high percentage of vehicle occupants involved in these accidents suffer fatal accident injuries. 

Medical emergencies

Although not a common occurrence, various serious crashes occur due to the driver suffering a medical emergency.  These medical emergencies can include health conditions including heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and fainting.  Any incident involving a loss of consciousness or other reason causing the driver to lose control can lead to a serious accident.  Depending upon the setting of the loss of vehicle control, a head-on crash can occur.

Loss of vehicle control

There can be many reasons as to why a driver can lose control of the vehicle.  If this loss of control occurs, and causes the vehicle to enter opposing lanes with traffic, a frontal collision can occur.

While some loss of control accidents are caused by driver impairment and the other reasons mentioned above, there are many other reasons for a driver losing control.

One reason is the existence of road hazards.  These road hazards can range from a deer suddenly running onto the roadway to a component failing on the vehicle.  Regardless of what road hazard causes the loss of control, if the vehicle crosses into opposing traffic there is the possibility of a head-on collision.

Distracted driving

Distracted driving is another reason a driver can cross the center line and drive into oncoming traffic.  Among the most common reasons for a driver to lose focus on driving is due to texting.  Other phone use is another common reason for driver distraction.  A recent survey has served to highlight the widespread belief that distracted driving is a foremost traffic safety problem.

Due to the distances that a vehicle travels at highway speeds, even a brief instant of driver distraction can cause the car to significantly veer off course.  For this reason, distracted driving can easily cause the vehicle to cross the center line.  If oncoming traffic is present at the time of this occurrence, a head-on collision becomes an instant possibility.

Injuries That Occur During Head-On Collisions

As previously mentioned, head-on crashes are notable in many respects.  They usually result in serious injuries to all vehicle occupants.  Furthermore, as seen in many posts summarizing such accidents, fatalities often result.

Due to the severe physical forces that vehicle occupants are subjected to, there can be a wide range of serious injuries that can occur.  Due to the typical severity of these injuries, extensive medical care is often needed.  This extensive medical treatment can extend far past the initial treatment.

Among the medical treatment that may be required includes hospitalization, testing, surgeries, medications, and various types of rehabilitations.

This medical treatment is often expensive, if not very much so.  As well, there can be other types of financial hardships that occur due to the accident injuries.  For instance, during injury recovery there may be an inability to work, either temporarily or for a prolonged period.  This inability to work can cause a loss of income.

Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit

In order to get the maximum amount of injury compensation, people who have been injured in an accident that was not their fault often choose to file a personal injury lawsuit.  For accidents that result in a fatality, relevant parties can seek to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the person that was killed.

The amount of injury compensation that potentially be available depends upon many different factors.   Types of compensation can include:

  • Reimbursement of past, present, and future medical costs
  • Payment for lost income due to inability to work
  • Reimbursement of ambulance charges
  • Compensation for pain & suffering
  • Compensation for disfigurement
Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney of the Elman Joseph Law Group, offers a free legal consultation to discuss the accident injuries and what compensation a lawsuit may be able to collect.  He can be reached at 773-392-8182, or via email

The Elman Joseph Law Group has been handling personal injury lawsuits for over 25 years.  During this time the firm has achieved many notable settlements and court verdicts.  Due to these achievements, the lawyers have received various awards and designations.

Client Reviews
I hired Tony after a car accident in 2014. This entire experience has been handled with the utmost care and attention. One of the most valuable aspects of the working relationship was Tony's ability to explain this complicated legal process and set realistic expectations. I'm very happy with my settlement! Karen Becker
Mr. Elman represented my wife and me after a car accident. A driver ran a red light hitting us, causing us to collide with 2 other cars. The Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC was very professional, courteous, thorough, and caring. The net result was 2 very fair settlements for my wife and me. Thanks Tony!!! Walt and Paula
I hired Anthony (Tony) Elman after the car I was riding in was hit by a driver that fell asleep, crossed the median and flipped over onto our car. That driver was underinsured. Tony was responsive and his follow-through exemplary, resulting in two settlements. Cindy