Beaver LawyerCross over accidents are perhaps the scariest of all accidents. When one vehicle crosses the center line and strikes an oncoming vehicle, the impact is significant because of the combined speed of the two automobiles. When a car is struck from behind, the target vehicle is usually stopped and the impacting vehicle is moving at whatever rate of speed it happens to be moving immediately prior to impact. The force of the impact is based on the speed of the striking vehicle. If the vehicle is moving at twenty-five miles per hour, that is the force with which the stopped vehicle will be struck.

The physics of a head-on collision

When two vehicles collide head-on, both are moving directly towards each other, so the impact force is based on the speed of both vehicles combined. If both vehicles are moving at twenty-five miles an hour, the impact force is based the combined speed of the two vehicles. One vehicle traveling at twenty-five miles per hour may not seem like a very fast pace, but it is a significant enough speed to cause significant damage and injury. Doubling that speed in a head-on collision greatly increases the probability of significant damage and injury.

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The nature of head-on collisions

Further increasing the likelihood of injury is the manner in which the vehicles collide. When two vehicles collide head-on, they don’t normally strike each other exactly center point to center point. More often they collide in what is called an offset impact. This means that only a part of the front of each vehicle is involved in the impact. Normally the driver’s side of one vehicle will strike the driver’s side of the other vehicle because the driver of each vehicle is seated in the car in the location closest to the center line of the road.

This is very bad for the driver’s of both vehicles because the force of the impact is focused on the section of the vehicle they occupy, leading to an enhanced potential for injury. In recent years testing on vehicles in offset head-on collisions has been conducted to document the nature of this type of collision and the resulting vehicle damage and injury potential.

Liability and Head-on collisions

Who is at fault in this type of accident is often very easy to determine. Where one vehicle is traveling within it’s own lane of travel and another crosses out of it’s lane of travel and strikes the other vehicle, the driver crossing the center line is at fault. The fault is actually so clear that courts consider it to be “negligence per se,” which means that it is negligence on it’s face without the necessity of further proof of fault on the part of the crossing driver.

Proving this type of claim is therefore fairly easy unless there is an excuse for what the negligent driver did, such as the sudden onset of a medical condition or if the driver crossed the center line in response to an outside cause, such as another driver or pedestrian making an incursion into their lane of travel.

Contact Attorney Matvey at 724-709-7958 to discuss your accident case.