Seeing a car or truck heading directly toward you in your lane is the stuff of nightmares. However, for some drivers, it becomes all too real. A head-on or wrong-way crash often results in catastrophic injuries or death to people in both vehicles.
Head-on crashes can occur when someone crosses a center line – perhaps to pass another vehicle or avoid an obstacle in the road or maybe because they’re under the influence or drowsy. They can also occur when a driver doesn’t know the area or isn’t paying attention and mistakenly goes the wrong way on a one-way road or a highway off-ramp.
Although these crashes are rare, they’re most likely to happen in rural areas. In fact they account for 13% of all fatal rural crashes. However, they’re becoming more common on interstates and highways.
Steps you can take if a driver is coming toward you
If you see a vehicle headed toward you in your lane or drifting in to your lane, there are things you can do to try to avoid a crash. For example, you can:
- Honk your horn and flash your headlights.
- Move toward the right. (Never go to the left, in case the other driver tries to go back in to their lane.)
- Drive on to the shoulder of the road if possible. Even if you have to drive in to a ditch, it’s better than being hit head-on.
If you’ve done everything you can to alert the other driver, have nowhere to go and a head-on crash is inevitable, slow down. The less cumulative speed the two of your vehicles have when they collide, the less catastrophic your injuries may be.
If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a crash caused by a wrong-way driver that injured or killed a loved one, don’t settle for less compensation than you’re entitled to. An experienced can help you.