How Common are Head-On Collisions in Ohio? | KNR
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Written by
KNR Legal
Date posted
May 14, 2019

Your heart drops into your stomach as you read the headline of a breaking news story: “Spring break horror: Wrong-way Ohio driver kills 3 sorority sisters.

You read further and learn that a wrong-way driver slammed into a car full of college-aged girls, killing three out of five.

Questions race through your mind as you read. How could this happen? How can someone drive the wrong way down a major interstate? And how can anyone survive a head-on collision going over 70 mph?

Head-on collisions are the most dangerous type of automobile accident. Both vehicles sustain increased force, causing exponentially more damage, injuries, and fatalities than other types of car accidents.

Head-On Collision Statistics

While only 2 percent of car crashes are head-on collisions across the country, they account for more than 10 percent of driving fatalities. Injuries most common among victims of head-on collisions include:

  • Brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Internal injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal cord injuries

Head-on crashes happen more often in rural areas compared to urban. They make up about 13 percent of rural fatal crashes, but only 7 percent of urban fatal crashes (NHTSA).

In Ohio, of the 303,298 traffic crashes that happened in 2017, 5,594 were head-on collisions.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, wrong-way crashes are rare. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports they’re less than 0.01 percent of the average 300,000 yearly crashes in Ohio, but more often than not they’re fatal or leave people with serious injuries.

How to Prevent Head-On Collisions

When it comes to wrong-way driving, ODOT has installed a warning system into particular dangerous or confusing areas throughout the state. One is now on the West 28th Street exit ramp of the Shoreway in Cleveland.

The goal of these warning systems is to detect drivers entering exit ramps before they get on the highway. A series of three red LED lights flash to warn drivers they’re going the wrong way. A camera also takes a photo of the wrong-way vehicle to alert Cleveland police immediately.

Staying alert is also key to preventing wrong-way driving and dangerous head-on collisions. The tragedy of this number is that most head-on collisions could be prevented if other drivers followed the rules of the road.

Anyone can become a victim of a motor vehicle accident — including head-on collisions. If you’ve been injured in a car accident because of someone else, don’t hesitate to call our Ohio car accident attorneys.

Contact us for more information today.