A driver in the Spokane Valley was recently hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries after a head-on collision. The accident occurred when a vehicle crossed over a centerline for uncertain reasons and ended up in a head-on collision with two vehicles. The driver of the first vehicle was later transported to a medical center with serious but non-life threatening injuries, while the drivers and occupants of the other two vehicles were not injured.
In its most recent data, the Washington State Department of Transportation found that in 2015, 545 head-on collisions occurred. While head-on collisions are not the most common type of accident, they frequently result in fatalities and serious injuries. One reason why these accidents are often so serious is that they involve the full force of two vehicles colliding with one another. Fortunately, there are some helpful steps that Spokane motorists can take to avoid ending up in life-changing head-on collisions.
Recognize the Common Causes of Head-On Collisions
One of the best steps that motorists can take to prevent ending up in a head-on collision is to recognize the most common causes of these accidents and take steps to avoid them. The most common causes of head-on collisions include:
- Intoxicated driving, which often results in drunk drivers crossing center lines of traffic
- Speeding, which can result in drivers losing control of their vehicles
- Drowsy driving, in which drivers fall asleep at the wheel and end up traveling in the wrong direction
- Illegal passing
- Obstacles on the road, which some drivers swerve to avoid, causing them to travel in the wrong direction
Cautiously Read Signs
A large number of head-on collisions occur because drivers end up on the wrong side of the road or moving against traffic. To avoid this risk, drivers must focus on posted road signs and eliminate distractions that can even momentarily divert a driver's focus.
# 3 - Know How to Respond if an Oncoming Vehicle Is Approaching
Unfortunately, no matter what safety steps a person takes, sometimes oncoming vehicles end up traveling on roads the wrong-way. To avoid ending up in an accident, there are several steps to take in these situations including:
- Quickly slow down your vehicle by easing off the gas and gently pressing down on the brakes
- Do whatever you can to get the wrong-way driver's attention, which might include flashing your headlights or sounding your horn
- Steer to the right of the oncoming vehicle. If it is at all possible, attempt to steer into any clear nearby area like a shoulder.
- If there is not a shoulder or safe area and it is necessary to do so, drive off the road.
- Understands no circumstances should you ever drive to the left of the oncoming vehicle. This is because the wrong-way driver may suddenly realize that they are traveling in the wrong direction and suddenly attempt to turn back into the proper lane.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
Unfortunately, head-on collisions are one of the most devastating types of car accidents. If you or your loved ones are injured in a head-on collision or any other type of accident in Spokane, it can help to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact West Law Office today to schedule a free case evaluation.