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How to Avoid a Head-On Collision


One of the worst traffic accidents is a head-on collision. Even if both automobiles were driving at a fairly moderate pace, the consequences could still be catastrophic, as the speed of both vehicles in a head-on collision is summed. That is, if the cars were moving at a speed of 30 mph each, the collision would cause the same consequences as if the vehicle crashed into the wall at a speed of 60 mph. Based on numerous studies of salvage cars, such an impact would have dire consequences for the driver and passengers.

After the collision, the vehicle, the driver and passengers continue moving forward due to inertia. That’s why they suffer serious injuries. One of the most common is hitting the head on the glass. Therefore, the ability to prevent a head-on collision is an extremely important skill for a driver.

The First Thing to Do When There Is a Threat of a Head-On Collision

As practice shows, the lower the speed of the vehicle before a head-on collision, the less serious the consequences are. Therefore, at the slightest threat of a hit, the first thing a driver must do is to reduce the speed of his car as much as possible.

In addition to observing the speed limit, it is worth realizing that when there is a danger of a head-on collision, it’s much better to end up on the roadside than to expose your own life to danger and the automobile to serious destruction. Naturally, you shouldn’t neglect the use of seat belts since the airbags work only for the driver who is wearing a seat belt when driving.

One of the important points that will allow you to avoid a head-on collision is experience. It’s not necessary to spend many years behind the wheel. It’s enough to take special courses in contra-accident or extreme driving. Such classes last a maximum of a week and give the driver not only a sufficient set of skills but also the much-needed muscle memory. It allows them to act in an extreme situation almost automatically.

Correct Entry Into the Car and the Two-Second Rule

Everything starts with the appropriate preparation for driving, particularly with adjusting the position of the seat. In its normal state, the driver can engage at any speed and fully press any pedal. In addition, before starting the movement, it’s necessary to regulate the position of the mirrors. They should provide the maximum possible view. Under no circumstances should you start driving when the windows are iced-over or frozen, which prevents a normal view. If everything is adjusted for you, then your chances of avoiding a head-on collision will be much higher.

The two-second rule has been around for quite some time. Its main principle is to measure the distance to the nearest car not in terms of miles or meters, but in seconds. To implement this rule in practice, you should choose a reference point for the vehicle moving in front and check the time of its passage. If it’s possible to cover the selected distance faster than 2 seconds, it will be necessary to increase it. Keep in mind that when driving on a slippery road, the distance increases several times.

In practice, this rule makes it possible to adequately assess the danger and take appropriate measures in time to prevent it. The so-called reaction distance for a driver moving at a speed of 40 mph is about 65 feet. This is the distance the vehicle will travel before the driver has time to press the brake. The braking distance is added to this. In general, the interval should be such that the car has time to reduce speed and make a maneuver, moving away from a head-on collision.

Simple Rules That Help Avoid a Head-On Collision

It’s worth taking every opportunity to avoid a head-on collision. Even a snowdrift on the side of the road will cause less damage than a collision with an oncoming car.

If an oncoming car suddenly jumps out while driving in your lane, you must use every opportunity to direct your car on a tangent line.

When an animal appears in front of the car, the collision with it will be less traumatic than with an immovable object (pole or tree), although the vehicle will need quite serious repairs.

When moving away from a head-on collision, you shouldn’t maneuver in such a way that the gas tank is under impact, because the fire that will start from the hit can almost instantly cover both vehicles.

Quite often, a head-on collision is the result of incorrect overtaking, before which the driver was unable to adequately assess the situation on the road. To answer the question of how to avoid a head-on collision when overtaking, it makes sense to list a few simple rules:

  • Timely activation of the turn signal will warn all participants about the maneuver.
  • You should take care of spare places for acceleration, so that the time spent in the oncoming lane is minimal.
  • Prior to the maneuver, select the gear that will allow you to gain speed quickly.
  • The appearance of a car on the oncoming side is a reason to abandon overtaking and return to your lane.

Keep in mind that if a collision is inevitable, the side of the car shouldn’t be under the hit. This vehicle zone tends to get the worst damage during a car accident.

Wrap Up

In addition to following the simplest rules of the road, for example, giving a turn signal and avoiding sharp maneuvers, it’s necessary to show maximum concentration and not be distracted by extraneous matters. Remember that you’re responsible not only for your and your passengers’ lives but also for other road users’.