Head-On Collision

What is a Head-On Collision?

A head-on collision is a type of automobile accident where the front ends of two vehicles strike each other. This type of accident occurs when the vehicles are traveling in opposite direction. A head-on collision also occurs when an individual strikes a structure, such as a tree or building, with the front end of a vehicle. As Lexington car accident lawyers at Law Offices of Herren & Adams LLP, we have the knowledge and experience to handle head-on collision accident cases.

What type of Injuries Occur in Head-On Collisions?

While we know that the use of seat belts and air bags has significantly decreased the severity of many injuries following head-on traffic collisions, there are many factors that play a role in the type and extent of the injuries vehicle occupants sustain specifically:

  • Speed of the vehicles
  • Type of vehicles involved
  • Type of structure involved
  • Use of safety equipment such as seat belts, car seats, air bags
  • The vehicle occupants response to the impending accident such as holding the breath

Other factors such as:

  • If the vehicle occupants are ejected from the vehicle
  • If a vehicle fire occurs
  • If the vehicle occupants are trapped in the vehicle
  • Position of the seats at the time of impact
  • General health of the vehicle occupants

It is important to know that failure to use the seat belt system correctly can lead to more significant injuries and death.

In general, the pattern of injury for the unrestrained occupants are called "up and over" which refers to the occupant being ejected or partially ejected from the vehicle or "down and under" which refers to the occupant being trapped under the dashboard.

In the "up and over" path of injury, occupants of the vehicle impact the steering wheel or dashboard. Organs that most frequent sustain injury in these types of accidents are the aorta, liver and spleen from striking the chest and/or abdomen. Spinal cord, face and brain injuries commonly occur because of vehicle occupant strikes the inside of the vehicle and objects outside of the vehicle if ejected.

In the "down and under" path of injury, occupants of the vehicle may become trapped under the dash board leading to difficulty/inability to breath. Additionally, femur and pelvis fractures are very common. They may also have chest, neck, and/or abdominal injuries.

Many individuals choose to only use the lap belt portion of the seat belt system. In this situation, the hips remain in a fixed position while the head, neck and chest continue to move forward after the impact. The only thing that stops the movement is striking the steering wheel, dashboard or another component of the automobile. This can lead to shearing injuries of the aorta as well as chest, face, neck and/or brain injuries.

Another type of injury that is very common in head on collision occurs as the knees strike the dashboard and the femur is push backward into the pelvis. This can lead to a substantial pelvis acetabulum fracture.

If restrained properly, injuries may still occur. Superficial burns to the face and hands may occur as the airbag deploys. Pulling and gripping by the seatbelt can lead to soft tissue injuries to the neck and back. If there is significant damage to the vehicle, an occupant can become injured as a result of intrusion of components, entrapment and debris.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a head-on collision, our Lexington car accident attorneys are here to help. Tom Herren and Chuck Adams have been representing victims of car accidents for over 30 years. Please give us a call today at 859-254-0024.