Head-on collisions are some of the most frightening and dangerous types of traffic accidents. When the front of one vehicle slams into the front of another—often while they are both moving—severe injuries can result. The resulting injuries can be more serious if there is a significant size discrepancy between the two vehicles, such as a crash between a car and a motorcycle or a car and a large commercial truck.
Because these accidents can be so devastating, it is important to be aware of the common causes of head-on collisions: both to avoid them whenever possible, and to identify liability if a crash happens. One of the more common reasons for head-on collisions in Virginia is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The following are two of the main ways that drunk driving specifically can lead to a head-on crash:
- Departing from the lane—Many drunk drivers have difficulty keeping the wheel straight and a common sign that a driver may be impaired is that their vehicle is swerving back and forth, sometimes crossing over a lane marker. If a drunk driver is in the left lane and swerves over the double yellow line, they can suddenly cross into the path of oncoming cars. These drivers often do not have time to stop or even slow down to avoid crashing head-on into the drunk driver.
- Wrong-way driving—Drunk drivers also have a lessened sense of spatial awareness or direction and they may commonly make wrong turns or miss a turn. In some cases, a drunk driver will turn the wrong way down a one-way street or will enter the highway going the wrong way. This often leads to a head-on crash with an oncoming car—especially if both vehicles are driving at higher speeds or if the drunk driver has forgotten to turn on their lights, both of which commonly occur.
In addition to the above scenarios, many drunk drivers cause head-on collisions on rural highways. These two-lane roads often have narrow lanes, high speed limits, winding turns, and plenty of hills that already create the risk of a head-on crash. Furthermore, there are generally fewer police officers patrolling rural roads, which can encourage intoxicated individuals to be bolder about trying to drive home.
In a ten-year span, more than 2,600 people in Virginia died as a result of drunk driving accidents and thousands more sustained injuries. Drunk drivers should be held fully liable for all losses incurred by accident victims and their families.
Contact a Tappahannock Car Accident Law Firm for a Free Case Evaluation
At the law firm of Emroch & Kilduff, we are committed to holding dangerous drivers responsible for the injuries they cause. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you have important legal rights and should discuss your situation with our skilled car accident attorneys as soon as possible. Please call 804-358-1568 for a free consultation if you have been injured in or around Richmond, Petersburg, Tappahannock, or Fredericksburg.