Most head-on collisions in North Carolina (NC) and South Carolina (SC) take place on two-way highways, where high speeds and the lack of a median can result in serious injury or death. Since the two vehicles strike from opposite directions, the force of the impact is doubled, making trauma and injury much more likely. These accidents occur when a car or truck leaves their lane and crosses the double-yellow centerline into oncoming traffic.
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Common causes of head-on collisions include:
- Driver distractions, such as eating while driving, using the car stereo, reaching for something within the car, talking on the cell phone while driving, or texting while driving.
- Speeding, which leads to drifting out of your lane while rounding curves or losing control of your vehicle altogether.
- Driver inattention, which could cause you to drift into the other lane.
- Driver fatigue, which could cause you to fall asleep at the wheel and leave your lane.
- Drinking and driving, which can seriously impair your driving abilities and your reaction times.
- Overcorrecting your driving, which could jerk your vehicle out of the way of an obstacle to your right, but into the path of an oncoming vehicle on your left.
Although head-on collisions are a somewhat rare type of car accident, consisting of only two percent of all vehicle crashes, one out of ten traffic accident victims dies because of a head-on crash.
Highway authorities are using several measures to reduce and prevent head-on collisions. Medians, wire ropes, and guard rails between opposing traffic lanes greatly reduce head-on crashes, while marking curves with signs also helps prevent head-on crashes. Some areas are adding rumble strips to the double yellow centerline in order to alert drivers to when they have crossed into dangerous territory. Drivers can prevent head-on collisions simply by obeying the rules of the road and by paying close attention to their driving especially when on dangerous two-lane highways.