how to avoid head on collision

How to avoid head on collision

Stew Broward
Head of PR (Enzo Collision)
August 25, 2023
According to the Insurance Information Institute, head-on collisions resulted in 3,631 deaths in 2020 alone. Head-on car collisions are also responsible for thousands of severe injuries – proving even more that it’s one of the most fatal road accidents. And as a fellow driver, we don’t want you to be part of this statistic.
So in this blog post, we sit down with our expert team to discuss 10 ways how to avoid a head-on collision. We compiled it into this short list that you should read before you go on your next trip.

What is a head-on collision?

Head-on collisions put a whole new meaning to the expression ‘bumper-to-bumper’. As it’s called, this type of collision will happen if an oncoming driver is headed toward you as you’re driving. It’s also referred to as head-to-head or front-to-front collisions.
Moreover, the impact of a head-on collision can cause severe damage to your vehicle and the other car involved. It will inflate your airbags together with a slew of interior and exterior damage.
However, collisions are more than just cars hitting each other. It can cause serious injuries to you and your passengers. Some could experience whiplash, broken bones, wounds from shattered glass, and so on.
In some cases, a head-on collision can also lead to life-threatening conditions like internal organ damage and traumatic brain injuries.
But why does this happen? The main culprit is wrong-way driving when two cars from opposite lanes overtake at the same time.
Still, you should know that head-on collisions can also be due to external factors. For example, you’ll have an increased risk for this accident during poor weather conditions or if your car has control issues. Also, driving when you’re sleepy can end up in a collision if you doze off.

How To Avoid A Head-On Collision

To avoid a collision, you should balance internal and external factors. Below, our team listed 10 effective ways to prevent you from getting into this accident:

1. “Stay in your lane”

Do you know the expression “stay in your own lane?” That applies literally when you’re driving and want to avoid a collision.
You should always drive on your designated lane and follow all road signs. This way, you’ll have a lower risk of figuring into a fender-bender – whether it’s a collision or something else.
As much as possible, avoid unnecessary lane changes. But if you badly need to overtake, make sure that you’re in the clear since this is one of the most common causes of front-to-front collisions.

2. Avoid distracted driving

Distracted driving is the main culprit to many road accidents, including your much-dreaded head-on collision. You should always keep your eyes on the road and avoid the urge to use your phone or eat a meal.
If you really need to answer a call or text, you should stop on the safe side of the road first. The same goes if you’re starving and just want a quick bite.
Overall, anything that takes your eyes off the road is considered distracted driving. Aside from the risk of collisions, you can also get pulled over by the cops.

3. Follow traffic signs and signals

Do you remember your theoretical driving course? Those lessons are not just a mere requirement to get your license, but they can also be life-saving.
A habit as simple as following traffic signs and using proper signals can save you from a catastrophic accident. It will also keep other drivers near you safe.
With that, make sure that you stop at stop signs, follow speed limits, and yield to other vehicles if necessary. Above all, don’t lose your cool when things get a bit inconvenient on the road.

4. Stay sober and alert

Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol can be very dangerous, especially on a busy road. You can easily figure into a head-on collision that can endanger the lives of innocent people.
Take note that you’ll likely face felony charges if the head-on collision you caused while DUI killed somebody.
So to be safe, avoid drinking alcohol or taking any drug that could impair your senses. Aside from that, you should get a good night’s sleep, especially before a very long road trip.

5. Use defensive driving techniques

To avoid a collision, you should practice defensive driving. This technique is about being aware of your surroundings and taking proactive steps to prevent accidents. Overall, this is very effective in preventing head-on collisions on the road.
Aside from that, you should keep a safe distance from other vehicles in front of you. This will give you enough time to react in case something unexpected happens. Also, you should anticipate sudden maneuvers from other drivers who may not be following the rules.
Overall, always check your mirrors. Also, you should stay focused and calm to prevent collisions and other problems on the road.

6. Pass Safely

Stuck behind a slow-moving vehicle? Our first instinct is to overtake, so we can finally go on our way. But before you do so, make sure that there’s enough space to maneuver and that you’re using proper signals.
Aside from that, always watch out for any incoming traffic before you move, so you can pass safely and avoid a car head-on collision.
After that, make sure you’re in the proper lane. Be extra careful and always practice patience – remember, some slow drivers might be dealing with road problems, too.

7. Be extra careful at night

Driving at night is a good way to avoid heavy traffic, but it also increases the risk of head-on collisions if you’re not careful.
Your number one enemy at night is poor visibility, especially if you’re going to drive along blind curves. This is why you should use your headlights properly – not too bright but not too dim either.
Aside from that, you should slow down a bit, so you’ll have enough time to react in case a car comes out of nowhere in the dark. Also, be on the lookout for animals – some of them love lurking on the roads at night.
Above all, make sure that you have enough sleep before going for a night ride. If you feel tired or sleepy, don’t hesitate to take a pit stop for a short rest.

8. Handle curves and hills properly

When approaching curves or hills, you should be extra careful to avoid head-on collisions. As we’ve mentioned earlier, these types of roads are notorious for all kinds of accidents.
Always slow down, so you’ll have control over your vehicle as you go through a steep curve or hill. Also, don’t try to overtake while cruising along a curve as it can easily lead to collisions.
As much as you might be in a hurry, taking your time driving along curves and hills will save you from more trouble later on.

9. Be alert when driving multilane roads

Multilane roads let you enjoy smoother traffic, but it also comes with some dangers if you’re not careful. It’s important to position your vehicle carefully either in the middle or right lane unless you’re planning to overtake another vehicle.
Aside from that, avoid tailgating, so you’ll have enough distance to react in case the vehicle in front suddenly stops or maneuvers. Also, mind your blind spots or areas where other vehicles may not be visible to you.
And as we’ve mentioned a couple of times, always be a defensive driver. As much as you’re following the rules, other drives may not. So be alert and always keep your eyes on the road, so you can react right away in case unexpected situations occur.

10.  Inspect your car before driving

Whether you’re going for a short ride or a long trip, you should always check your car for any damages. Make sure that your brakes, lights, tires, fluid levels, and wipers are all in good functioning condition. This way, you can take control of your car if a vehicle is approaching you head-on.
Aside from preventing collisions, keeping your vehicle in good condition will also reduce the risk of other accidents. So if your car has any damage, it’s best to get it repaired immediately.
Also, it’s best to bring your car to an auto body shop for a yearly inspection. This way, you can spot problems before they put you at risk of collisions.

What to do after a head-to-head collision

If the unexpected happens and you figure in a head-on collision, it’s important to prioritize everyone’s safety. If you can, assess the situation and bring everyone to a safe spot. After that, call the authorities for help.
Once the incident has been reported and everyone’s safe, you should also secure your car. You can call us at Enzo Collision for collision repair with free tow truck service.
We can pick up your damaged car and bring it to our shop for repairs. Rest assured that we will restore your vehicle’s auto body to its original condition. Whether it’s head-on, side-impact, or rear-end collision, our experts can repair all types of auto body damage.
If you need our help or you’re interested in a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us today!
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