How to avoid a head-on collision

head on collision motor vehicle avoid a head on collision

A head-on collision is just as it sounds; when two vehicles crash into each other, front-ends first. Head-on collisions happen when the driver of a vehicle crosses the center line and hits a motor vehicle coming from the opposite direction or when a driver enters a divided highway on the wrong side of the divider. Are there ways to avoid a head-on collision?

While head-on collisions may not happen very frequently, they are one of the most dangerous types of accidents. Knowing the dangers of these types of accidents may help keep you safe behind the wheel.


Avoiding a head-on collision

The National Safety Council recommends “the four R’s” when trying to avoid a head-on collision.

  • avoid a head on collision crosses the center line divided highway

    Be aware of your surroundings.

    Read the road ahead. Look around your vehicle – in front and on all sides. Become aware of your surroundings and other cars; for instance, look to the next hill, curve or overpass. Bring other drivers’ attention to you by turning on or flashing your headlights and honking your horn.

  • Drive to the right. The safest place on a two-lane road is slightly to the right of the center of your lane. You will be closer to the shoulder and an escape path in the vent of danger. If you see an oncoming vehicle nearing the center line, begin to brake and drive slightly to the right of your lane. The closer the other vehicle comes to yours, the further right you must move.
  • Reduce your speed. Slow down if you see something unusual or hazardous ahead of you. Reducing your speed lowers the energy of the car and increases your control.
  • Ride off the road. If you see an approaching vehicle, do not jerk the wheel or slam on your brakes. Skidding off the road can mean you lose control of the vehicle, so don’t lock your brakes. Steer out of the impact path and that may mean driving off the road, onto the shoulder of the road or hitting a ditch or tree.

Other tips to avoid a head-on collision:

  • Never straddle or hug the center line. You make yourself more of a target for a head-on collision.
  • Pay attention when passing another vehicle. Make sure you have enough room to safely pass.
  • Never drive to the left of an oncoming vehicle. This will take you into the lane of approaching traffic and the other driver may correct himself and pull back into the proper lane.
  • Swerving into the left lane risks a head-on collision. Drive off the road if needed; hitting the shoulder of the road or a ditch is better than hitting another vehicle.

Case Results

Common causes of head-on collisions

The most common ways head-on collisions occur:

  • Passing on a highway or two-lane road
  • Failing to negotiate a curve properly
  • Crossing the center line into traffic
  • Inclement weather conditions
  • Swerving to avoid obstacles/debris in the roadway
  • Texting or using a cell phone while driving
  • Turning the wrong way down a one-way road
  • Drunk driving or driving while impaired

Examples of how head-on collisions occur:

  • Driving under the influence can cause another driver to drift across the center line or enter a one-way street or entrance the wrong way.
  • Driving too fast can cause a driver to lose control or skid into oncoming traffic.
  • Driving while drowsy can cause a driver to fall asleep and not be aware that he is drifting into oncoming traffic.
  • Passing illegally (when a driver passes in a no-passing zone) could result in a head-on collision

Have you been in a head-on collision? Call us at (877) 284-6600, Chat Online or use our Text Us widget.


attorney lawyer head on collision motor vehicle

Consult an attorney who knows how to handle motor vehicle accidents.

Each driver has a legal obligation (or “duty of care”) to look out for the safety of other drivers, pedestrians and other individuals. When a driver fails this, negligence has taken place and the at fault party may be held liable for damages and injuries caused.

Having an attorney who is your advocate can offer you peace of mind during your recovery. We have a successful track record of helping accident victims collect the compensation they deserve. Our attorneys can:

  • Investigate the cause of your accident, gather evidence and identify all responsible parties
  • Document your damages to maximize the value of your personal injury claim
  • File insurance claims and handle all communication with the insurance company
  • Calculate the correct value of your injury claim
  • Monitor all deadlines under the statutes of limitations
  • File a personal injury lawsuit, if necessary



Have you or a loved one been seriously injured in a wrong-way or head-on motor vehicle accident in which you suffered serious injuries due to another’s negligence? Call the Kansas City-based law firm of Nash & Franciskato at (877) 284-6600.

One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and will provide you with a free, no-obligation case evaluation.



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Find related blog articles: Automobile Accidents or Personal Injury


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