A head-on collision is perhaps the most violent type of car accident. With two cars or trucks hitting one other from opposite directions, the impact forces each person in the vehicles experiences is extremely severe. Head-on collisions are rare and estimated to be only 2% of all accidents, but the trauma involved is so high that head-on crashes account for 18% of fatal accidents. Some head-on collisions occur when one driver crosses the line while trying to pass a slower vehicle. However, the vast majority of head-on accidents occur when one driver just drifts into the lane of oncoming traffic while driving straight or negotiating a curve.
The force involved in a head-on collision is even more significant when one of the vehicles is much larger or driving much faster than the other, as in the case of a tractor-trailer hitting a passenger car or a car that accelerates rapidly to pass another vehicle and hits an oncoming vehicle. If one vehicle in a head-on crash has more force because it weighs substantially more or is moving substantially faster than the other vehicle, the lighter or slower vehicle may actually be knocked backwards in the crash. The combined force of being jolted to a stop and then bouncing in the opposite direction almost instantly will even further increase the trauma endured by anyone in a lighter or slower vehicle.
Tennessee law on car accidents starts from the notion that all drivers must act with due care at all times, and do what they reasonably can under the circumstances to avoid an accident. Drivers’ responsibilities include getting off the road if the driver is too tired to stay awake and maintaining their vehicle to make sure the tires are not too slick to safely take curves on roads. And significantly, Tennessee law prohibits not just texting and driving but also it prohibits a driver from even holding a cellphone while operating their vehicle. Tennessee law requires every driver to stay on the right side of any two-lane road unless an exception to the rule applies. Of course, drivers must stay on the right half of the road whenever approaching another vehicle heading in the opposite direction.
Proof of which driver crossed into the wrong lane of traffic can be done through testimony of the drivers involved in the crash, any passengers in the vehicles, and any bystanders who saw the wreck. In more complex cases, an accident reconstructionist may be called as an expert witness to testify about what probably happened based on physical evidence at the scene. Accident reconstructionists base their testimony on skid marks, where on the road the two vehicles came into contact, which parts of the vehicles show damage and how much damage each vehicle sustained, data from the vehicles’ on-board computers about how fast each vehicle was traveling before impact and when each driver pressed the brakes, and any other available evidence.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a head-on collision, they should consult with an experienced attorney about their legal rights and options. Before hiring a lawyer, we urge you to do your research. On our FAQ page, we offer guidelines on everything from How to Select a Personal Injury Attorney to How Much is My Case Worth? and more.
Our award-winning lawyers help car accident victims every single day, and we would be honored to help you and your family too. We represent injury victims throughout the State of Tennessee. To get started, just give us a call. We will discuss your case with you for free and we handle all accident cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we win.
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