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What Are Crossover Accidents?

Most major highways have median barriers that separate traffic traveling in both directions. The barriers are put in place to prevent vehicles from crossing lanes into oncoming traffic and causing potentially horrific crashes. Some of these barriers are made of concrete and are considered the most effective type of barrier. Guardrails can also be used as barriers to keep vehicles from crossing over.

Unfortunately, while major highways usually have median barriers, most state routes – especially those in rural areas – do not have any type of divider other than a solid yellow line. This lack of barrier can and does lead to crossover accidents. A crossover accident occurs when one vehicle crosses over a road divider and into oncoming traffic. While they are only responsible for under five percent of the number of people killed in vehicle accidents each year, the effects of these crashes are usually catastrophic.

Crossover Crashes

A driver may cross a road divider for a number of reasons:

  • They are legally passing the vehicle in front of them. While there are areas of a road where the solid yellow line is broken to allow passing, drivers should not pass when there is oncoming traffic. Some drivers misjudge how much time they have and end up crashing into that traffic.
  • They are illegally passing the vehicle in front of them. Many drivers today are in a hurry or they become so impatient at the speed the vehicle in front of them is traveling that they decided to commit a traffic violation and crossover the median to pass.
  • They want to change the direction they are traveling in. Again, this often comes down to being patient enough to change their direction at specifically and legally designated areas.
  • They cross over the median due to driver error. This could be because they are engaged in distracted driving behavior, are driving under the influence, driving while fatigued, or some other negligent action.

Head-On Collisions

Most crossover accidents end up being head-on collisions and because of the high rate of speed the vehicles are traveling, they are often devastating. According to statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), almost 60 percent of head-on crashes result in the deaths of victims. Victims who do survive these crashes often suffer brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal injuries. Their recovery period is usually long-term and it is not uncommon for a victim in a head-on collision to suffer long-term or permanent damage and disabilities.

Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney for Legal Assistance

If you have been injured in a crash caused by a driver who was speeding, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to see what type of financial damages you may be entitled to. The legal team from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn have been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today at 800-752-0042 for a free case evaluation.




Eric K. Washburn
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia