Who Is at Fault in Head-on Collisions?

Only about one out of fifty traffic accidents involve head-on collisions. Nonetheless, they cause a much more significant share of serious injuries and deaths than other types of accident. These crashes can occur anywhere, but they’re almost twice as common on rural roads, especially with out-of-towner’s who may not be familiar with the local roads. Depending on the circumstances, determining fault is not always so cut-and-dry.

Potential Causes

Many different situations may lead to head-on collisions. It can happen when motorists travel in the wrong direction on one-way streets or swerve to avoid hitting children. Mechanical problems, distractions, fatigue, drugs and alcohol can also contribute to a lot of these accidents.

Proving Negligence

When someone drives in the wrong lane and causes a head-on crash, this person is usually held responsible for the accident. The driver on the wrong side is at fault if he entered the lane by accident or because their automobile malfunctioned.

A driver who acts irresponsibly will usually bear a larger share of the blame. Examples include driving while intoxicated and using illegal drugs or texting while driving. The same holds true for drivers who fall asleep at the wheel.

Complicating Factors

At the same time, it’ not always enough to establish that a driver was distracted or traveling on the wrong side of the road. Another vehicle can sometimes force someone to leave their lane of travel. Similarly, a large animal may charge across the roadway in suburban areas.

An overly narrow road can also contribute to a bad situation because there aren’t two full lanes. It’s possible that both motorists have some fault for the collision.


If you were involved in a head-on collision and sustained injuries as a result of the crash, contact Michael J. Redenburg to discuss you legal options.