A head-on collision with another vehicle is something nightmares are made of. Unfortunately for those of us driving on Missouri roads, head-on collisions are a reality, likely resulting in fatal injuries or serious, lifelong disabilities. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a head-on collision, Bley & Evans may be able to help you obtain compensation for the injuries and losses you suffered.
There were 353 people killed on Missouri roads in head-on collisions from 2014 to 2016, or almost one death every other day, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation. It reports that 322 were killed on non-interstate roads and 31 were killed on interstates.
Injuries due to Missouri head-on collisions
Head-on collisions are incredibly dangerous because of the amount of force that’s delivered into the vehicles at the time of the crash. Both vehicles may be headed straight at each other at high speed and, even if the vehicles are small in size, the energy released into the vehicles when they collide can be enough to cause fatal, traumatic injuries.
What injuries occur can depend on the mass of each vehicle, their speed, seatbelt use and whether the collision is straight-on or the vehicles strike at an angle or only parts of the fronts of the vehicles hit each other. Those suffering traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries may have to deal with lifetimes of pain and suffering and medical and rehabilitative treatments.
If you’re involved in a head-on collision your seatbelt may mean the difference between a crash you survive or one that takes your life. Researchers at Monash University’s Accident Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia, study vehicle accidents in their country that cause serious injuries to drivers and passengers, according to Geared. They reviewed the facts surrounding more than 390 accidents and came to the following conclusions about head-on accidents:
- Seat belt users commonly suffered chest and lower limb injuries.
- Those not using seatbelts often had severe head and facial injuries and more severe damage to their chest and lower extremities (including the pelvis, legs and feet).
- Injuries to those not using seat belts are generally far worse. Severely injured crash victims often hit the steering wheel and dashboard.
Where a Missouri head-on collision may be more likely
You may think that those trying to pass another vehicle into oncoming traffic are mostly to blame for head-on collisions on local roads, but they may occur in any number of situations. Many occur around curves or on straight sections of roads where drivers may lose control because of speed, distraction, fatigue, intoxication or falling asleep behind the wheel. On an interstate due to poor visibility, lack of attention or intoxication, a driver may mistakenly use an exit ramp as an on ramp and travel the wrong way.
A head-on collision isn’t predictable, but you should be more aware of oncoming traffic in certain situations:
- On rural roads
- At night when other drivers may be more likely to be intoxicated or fatigued
- On a curve, because a speeding driver coming the other way may end up in your lane, especially if the roadway is wet or covered in snow or ice
- In construction zones where signs for travel lanes may be missing or confusing
- When you hear sirens because a driver trying to elude police may go into oncoming traffic in hopes the danger is too high for the officer to follow.
Get help after a Missouri head-on collision
Vehicle accident cases require a plaintiff to prove liability (the defendant driver did something wrong and is legally liable for the consequences of the accident) and damages (the accident harmed the plaintiff). In the case of a head-on collision, it’s normally clear that the driver failed to use reasonable care while driving and is liable; but, depending on the circumstances, others may also be liable. If the driver was visibly intoxicated but served alcohol at a restaurant or bar before the crash, those businesses may face liability as well.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a head-on collision and you’re seeking legal representation, whether we’re negotiating with opposing attorneys, pursuing fair payment from an insurance company or arguing your case in court, you can rest assured that our years of experience in handling vehicle accident cases will be put to use for your best interests. We will be unrelenting in our pursuit of justice.
Contact the Missouri vehicle accident lawyers at Bley & Evans to find out more about how we can help you. We offer free consultations and put you under no pressure to take legal actions that you don’t wish to pursue.