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Causes of Head-on Car Accidents

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Causes of Head-on Car Accidents

Head-on car accidents are among the most dangerous and potentially deadly types of collisions on the road. According to the Insurance Information Institute, about 10% of all car wrecks in 2020 were head-on collisions. They resulted in 3,631 fatalities and tens of thousands of severe injuries.

The attorneys with the Jones Law Group will be ready to protect your rights if you’ve suffered a severe injury or tragically lost a loved one due to a head-on accident caused by a negligent driver. You can contact us online or call (727) 571-1333 for a free consultation. 

How Drivers Cause Head-on Car Accidents

Drivers can cause terrifying head-on collisions in several ways. These are a few of the most common: 

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the biggest reasons head-on crashes occur. If drivers divert their eyes to text, make phone calls, adjust the radio, or engage in other distractions, they can inadvertently drift into oncoming traffic lanes, leading to catastrophic head-on crashes.

According to data from the Department Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 333 people died in distracted driving accidents in 2021. That was the highest figure since 2013. 

Impaired Driving

Alcohol or drug impairment significantly impairs a driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction times. Impaired drivers may veer into opposing lanes, causing head-on accidents. These accidents often result in severe injuries and fatalities.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that wrong-way crashes led to 2,008 deaths nationwide between 2015-2018. During that same period, 135 people died in Florida


Fatigued drivers pose a risk on the road similar to impaired drivers. Drowsy driving can lead to erratic lane changes and drifting into oncoming traffic, increasing the likelihood of head-on collisions. 


When someone drives too fast, they can’t react quickly enough to changing road conditions or sudden obstacles. Speeding drivers may lose control of their vehicles, leading to head-on collisions when they veer into the path of oncoming vehicles. 

Reckless Overtaking

Drivers attempting to pass other vehicles without enough visibility or in no-passing zones risk head-on collisions. This dangerous behavior often results from impatience and a disregard for traffic laws.  

Other Factors that Cause Head-on Car Accidents

The above just scratch the surface of the many reasons why head-on crashes happen. Here are a couple of others. 

Vehicle Defects

Mechanical failures in a vehicle, such as brake malfunctions or steering problems, can be silent culprits in head-on collisions. These defects can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, making it difficult to keep the vehicle in the correct lane. For example, a sudden brake failure on a curve could result in a driver inadvertently crossing into oncoming traffic. Manufacturers and maintenance providers may be held liable for these defects. 

Weather and Road Conditions

Adverse weather conditions, such as fog and sudden rainstorms, pose significant challenges for drivers. Reduced visibility in fog or heavy rain can make it difficult to judge distances accurately. In such conditions, drivers may inadvertently drift into oncoming lanes, unaware of the approaching danger. 

When roads are wet vehicles lose traction, making it challenging to maintain control. Drivers may struggle to brake and steer effectively on slippery surfaces. Vehicles can veer into oncoming traffic, leading to devastating head-on accidents.

Inadequate road maintenance, like potholes or uneven surfaces, can also contribute to the loss of vehicle control.  

The Dangers of Head-on Car Accidents

Head-on collisions can result in a range of catastrophic injuries. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are common due to the forceful impact, leading to cognitive impairments and long-term consequences. Spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis or lifelong mobility challenges. Multiple fractures and internal organ damage are prevalent, necessitating extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. The physical toll on victims can be immense and life-altering.

The financial and emotional aftermath of a head-on collision can also be overwhelming. Victims often face substantial medical expenses, including surgeries, hospital stays, and ongoing treatments. Rehabilitation costs for physical and cognitive therapy can also be significant. 

Also, lost wages due to recovery time or permanent disability add to the financial strain. Property damage is another concern, as vehicles involved in head-on collisions often suffer extensive damage or are totaled. Beyond the tangible losses, victims may experience intangible damages like pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and a reduced quality of life. 

How to Showcase Fault in Head-on Car Accident Cases

Proving fault in a car accident case is essential to securing compensation for victims. Key steps in establishing fault include:

  • Police reports: Obtaining the official police report detailing the accident’s circumstances and initial findings.
  • Eyewitness testimonies: Collecting statements from witnesses who can provide firsthand accounts of the collision.
  • Photographs: Documenting the accident scene, vehicle damage, skid marks, and road conditions through photographs.
  • Medical records: Gathering medical records that detail injuries, treatment, and prognosis to establish a direct link between the accident and the injuries.

Consulting with an experienced attorney is crucial for building a strong case. A lawyer can guide you through the process and collect and present all necessary evidence effectively. 

Recovering Full and Fair Compensation After an Accident

Victims of head-on collisions deserve compensation for their extensive losses. Recovery may include:

  • Medical expenses: Coverage for current and future medical bills related to injuries.
  • Lost income: Compensation for wages lost due to injuries, rehabilitation, or disability.
  • Property damage: Reimbursement for vehicle repair or replacement.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical pain and suffering experienced as a result of the accident.
  • Emotional distress: Damages for psychological trauma, emotional distress, anxiety, and reduced quality of life.

An attorney with expertise in car accident cases can help negotiate with insurance companies. If necessary, they can pursue legal action to secure full and fair compensation. This compensation can provide victims with the financial support they need to recover and rebuild their lives. 

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney ASAP to Discuss Your Options

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Jones Law Group as soon as possible. We’ll investigate the accident, determine who’s to blame, and then pursue maximum compensation. Our firm has a long track record of success in cases similar to yours.

Let us get to work for you as soon as you can. Call (727) 571-1333 or use our online form to schedule a free case review.

Heath Murphy

About the Author

Heath Murphy is a partner at Jones Law Group and focuses on personal injury law. He has been working as a lawyer for 18 years and routinely writes about auto accidents, wrongful death, and personal injury laws.

Read more: Heath’s Bio