On December 28, 2013, a Chevrolet Tahoe was traveling straight on Old Columbia Pike when an Infiniti traveling in the opposite direction drifted across the center line and collided directly with the Tahoe. The vehicles collided and the front passenger of the Infiniti was pronounced dead at the scene while the driver and rear passengers were taken to an area hospital for injuries. The driver of the Tahoe was also taken to the hospital for injuries. It is not clear as to whether or not alcohol or seat belt usage was a factor in this accident. Perhaps text messaging played a role. Further investigation would be needed to bear those facts out. However, vehicle drifting is often the result of inattentive drivers who are distracted from what they are doing.
The Force of a Head-On Collision
Head-on collisions like the one described above are some of the most dangerous kind of motor vehicle collisions to be involved in. The amount of force exchanged between two vehicles traveling in opposite directions is much higher than the amount of force exchanged between a traveling vehicle and a vehicle at rest. (This is basic physics and is based on the equation F = MA. (Force) basically = Mass of the objects multiplied by the acceleration of the object.)
For example, say your vehicle is at rest and you rear ended by a vehicle traveling at 30 miles per hour. The amount of force is calculated by multiplying the mass of the vehicle times the acceleration of the vehicle. Without getting too deep into physics and worrying about what the vehicles weigh, let’s just say this is 30 miles an hour of force.
Now, alternatively, imagine you are traveling 45 miles per hour and are struck by a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction at the same speed. While now, the impact will have force equivalent to 90 miles per hour. That is, the amount of force would remain the same if one of the vehicles was stationary and the other slammed into it at 90 miles per hour. As you can probably guess, 90 miles per hour of force is more than enough force to serious injure or kill a human being.
When you start to factor in the mass of larger vehicles, such as large trucks for example, the amount of force is amplified proportionately. Smaller vehicles colliding with larger vehicles will absorb more force per mile per hour.
This is why victims of head-on collisions usually have substantial injuries. Human bodies are not constructed to withstand such massive levels of force. As a result, the most common serious injuries that occur as a result of a head-on collision include:
- internal bleeding
- broken bones
- organ damage
- spinal cord injury
- brain injury
- Muscle tissue tears, sprains and damage
The Why of a Head-On Collision
Cars do not yet drive themselves. Perhaps they will one day. In the meantime, drivers make mistakes and these mistakes cost lives. Most head on collisions simply do not occur without driver negligence playing a part. The following are the most common causes of head on collisions:
- Driver Error
- Drunk Driving
- Drivers Falling Asleep at the wheel
- Speeding / loss of control of vehicle
- Distracted Driving: (We have written extensively about distracted driving in Maryland and you can find more on that subject here: The Long Road of Distraction (Distracted Driving in Maryland)
What Benefits May Be Available
Maryland law may allow injury victims to seek and obtain a wide array of compensatory benefits, including but not limited to:
- Medical benefits
- Lost Wages
- Compensation for future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and death benefits
Silver Spring Maryland Head-On Collision Car Accident Lawyers
Serving all of Maryland, Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia
If you or someone you love has been injured in a serious head-on collision, you may want to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Our lawyers can help you determine which laws will apply to your particular circumstances and make sure you do not miss any important deadlines with respect to making your claim. We will also collect and preserve evidence for you that is critical to proving your claim in a court of law. The longer you wait to, the higher the chance that evidence will be lost, misplaced, or deliberately destroyed. In serious cases with disputed liability, we can retain accident reconstruction experts on your behalf to assist in proving liability. We will also assist you in documenting medical evidence needed to prove your injury case. Finally, in the most serious cases involving death, we can help you set up an estate, appoint a trustee and pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of your loved one. You will need to consult with an attorney to determine what specific recompense you may be entitled to. For a free legal consultation, contact us today.