In 2021, not one day passed without death on Texas roads. In fact, 2021’s roadways were more dangerous than the 2020s, and no crash is more dangerous than a head-on collision.
Also known as frontal impact accidents or frontal crashes, head-on collisions in Texas occur when vehicles heading in opposite directions crash into the front end of one another. Vehicle speed at impact and the point of contact on the vehicles determine the degree of damage, as tons of metal, fiberglass, and glass smash headlong into each other.
Anyone who has been the victim of a head-on collision should contact the Houston car accident attorneys at Dax F. Garza, P.C.
Head-On Collision Horror Stories
This year has been full of tragic headlines describing lost loved ones and life-changing injuries from head-on collisions.
Outside of Sugar Land on Highway 6 and US-90, a 50-year-old man lost his life when his sedan collided with a pickup truck. Three others were transported to the hospital with various injuries.
A Houston firefighter drove his pickup southbound on FM 1485 toward work before sunrise. A GMC pickup was traveling north on the same road. Right before the two trucks passed each other, the GMC crossed the center line, crashing head-on into the firefighter. Both drivers went to the hospital with serious injuries.
On a summer day outside of Waco, a 24-year-old father drove his wife and their three-year-old daughter in their Toyota Corolla. While heading north on U.S. 77, they drifted onto the shoulder of the road and overcorrected, swerving left into the southbound lane into the path of a Freightliner. The Corolla burst into flames, killing the family of three.
Head-On Crash Statistics
American roadways see approximately 100 deaths per day; and, in most states, 2021 was even more dangerous than previous years. Texas is no exception. According to the Texas Department of Transportation’s 2021 data, almost 20,000 people suffered severe injuries in more than 15,000 serious crashes.
Fatality rates on Texas roads increased by more than 15% from 2020 to 2021, with 3,896 roadway deaths in 2020 rising to 4,489 in 2021. More than 600 of these fatalities resulted from head-on collisions. Breaking down Texas’ 2021’s injury and death tolls shows our state suffered:
- A serious crash occurs every minute
- A severe injury because of a vehicle crash about every two minutes
- A death because of a vehicle crash about every two minutes
Frontal Impact Accident Injuries
The chance of severe injuries and death increases dramatically in the case of head-on collisions. Even when drivers and passengers wear seatbelts and/or are protected by airbags, the sheer force of two moving vehicles colliding head-on is frequently catastrophic.
Some common injuries associated with head-on collisions include:
- Abdominal bruising
- Broken bones
- Chest and torso damage from seatbelts and airbags
- Crushed legs and feet
- Disfigurement and amputations
- Head/brain damage (TBI)
- Internal bleeding
- Neck/back damage or whiplash
- Organ damage
Death is also far too common in head-on collisions, either instantly or due to succumbing to injuries after the crash. Head-on crashes amount to only about two percent of vehicle crashes in the United States, but these types of collisions account for more than ten percent of fatal crashes.
Head-On Collision Causes
There is no common location or time for a head-on collision. Front-end crashes can happen on narrow rural roads, in neighborhoods, or on highways. They can happen during the night or day and on unlit or well-lit roads. The only deterrent seems to be roads with guardrails and traffic dividers, but even those can be deadly.
Causes commonly found in frontal impact crashes include:
- Distracted drivers
- Drunk or intoxicated drivers
- Tired drivers falling asleep at the wheel
- Confused drivers driving on the wrong side of the road
- Senior drivers
- Unsafe passing
- Dangerous weather conditions
- Improperly designed roads
- Poorly maintained roads
- Roads with construction zone hazards
Head-On Crash Aftermath
On a July night, a Dodge Charger drove down the wrong side of unlit Texas 110. Just outside of Tyler, the Charger rounded a curve and slammed into an oncoming Chevrolet Tahoe with an eruption of flames. Everyone died, a total of five people.
Last March, tragedy came to Andrews County, when a 13-year-old boy drove a Dodge pickup too fast on a spare tire, causing him to collide head-on with a transit van in the opposite lane. The van was full of the men’s and women’s golf teams from the University of the Southwest. The fiery crash resulted in nine deaths—the boy and his adult passenger, six members of the golf teams, and their coach. Only two university students escaped with critical injuries.
The horrors of head-on collisions are ever-present in Texas, but one common factor is negligence. Whether it be another driver, a government agency, a company, or a third party that is negligent in a vehicle crash, people suffering from injuries or surviving family members whose loved ones were wrongfully killed have legal rights and can seek compensation for their losses.
Anyone who has been the victim of a head-on car collision should contact the Houston car accident attorneys at Dax F. Garza, P.C.