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Head-On Collisions in Tampa

Head-on collisions cause extensive property damage and severe injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when someone is involved in a head-on collision, they are five times more likely to be seriously injured and seven times more likely to be killed than other types of collisions. This is primarily due to the higher impact that happens in a head-on collision because the speed and momentum of both cars contribute to the impact.

If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a head on collision in Florida, contact us today for a free consultation. RHINO Lawyers is the powerful, results-driven law firm, that takes Insurance Companies and Bullies “head on!”

Types of Head-on Collisions

Head-on collisions can be categorized into two types: Centerline drift and wrong way driving (WWD). Both produce similar impacts and injuries, but they happen for a significantly different reason and under separate circumstances.

Centerline Drift

Just like it sounds, centerline drift head-on collisions happen when one car drifts over the median and into oncoming traffic. This happens almost exclusively on non-divided highways and is more typical on two-lane rural roads.

When drivers drift out of their lane, most of the time they correct themselves with no harm done. However, when the drift takes them over the median or centerline, they are at risk of causing a head-on collision. On two-lane non-divided highways, cars are going at speeds 50-60 mph, and there is only a few feet between them and cars passing in the other direction also going at high speeds. Causes of centerline drift:

  • Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence is the number one reason for centerline drift crashes. Alcohol is still the primary cause for impaired driving, however, marijuana impairment is increasing at a rapid pace due to the number of states that have legalized recreational marijuana.
  • Drowsy/Fatigue Driving: Drivers often doze off due to being sleepy or fatigued. Most of the time, the road bumps or the sensation of drifting will jerk the driver awake. However, other times the person crosses the centerline into oncoming traffic.
  • Distracted Driving: On non-divided highways, it takes less than a second of drift the few feet into the oncoming lane, and thus any distraction can be deadly. Cell phone/texting is the number one distracted driving cause. Others are eating, make-up/shaving, radio/CD player, interacting with other passengers.

Wrong-Way Driving

Technically, in a head-on, someone is going the wrong way, but according to the NHTSA, WWD happens when a car enters a divided highway and travels against the designated direction of that lane. This happens when someone enters the freeway from an off-ramp or turns the wrong way when crossing a divided highway. Causes of WWD are:

  • Impaired Driving: The NHTSA reports that over 60 percent of all WWD crashes are because the driver was impaired. Almost all WWD comes from an error in judgment or inobservance of the driver. When the driver is impaired, by definition his or her reasoning and judgment is diminished.
  • Visibility: Most WWD happens at night, and poor visibility can cause someone to miss the signs and/or become confused as to where to go.
  • Poor Signage: Often time, the signs that show proper direction or the warning signs are either in poor repair or insufficient in design. This can cause even an awake and unimpaired driver to make a mistake.
  • Purposeful WWD: In a small percentage but significant number of accidents the driver enters the wrong way on purpose in an attempt to end their life or harm others.

Common Injuries With Head-On Collisions

Head-on crashes are typified by high-impact collisions and thus produce common injuries. Some of them are:

  • Blunt Force Trauma
  • Head Injuries/Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Broken Bones
  • Internal Injuries/Bleeding
  • Air bag injuries

Losses and Damages that Come From Head-On Collisions

When someone is involved in a head-on collision, the injuries are usually severe. This means that the financial losses are often severe as well. For drivers in the Tampa Bay area, this can be devastating as the person’s life is turned upside down. Under Florida law if you are involved in a head-on collision are severely injured, you are entitle to certain damages. They are:

  • Medical Bills
  • Lost wages, past and future
  • Permanent injuries/disabilities or disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of a quality of life/consortium
  • Wrongful Death compensation
  • Emotional distress
Money can’t make these things go away, but it can help compensate for the many losses that come from an accident like a rear-end collision. Many victims of these accidents wonder if they need to get an attorney. In most cases, the answer is yes.

Contact a Tampa Car Accident Attorney Today

Everyone has questions after a crash. Talk to an Attorney at RHINO Lawyers today. Our legal team is ready to start working for you to get you the compensation you deserve.


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Rhino Lawyers, Personal Injury Lawyer, Tampa, FL


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