In 2014, a total of 3,921 head-on motor vehicle accidents occurred within the state of Pennsylvania. According to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 120 people died in head-on collisions over the course of the year. In total, three percent of all statewide crashes were head-on crashes but 10 percent of fatalities in the state happened in head-on crashes. The fatality rate is significantly disproportionate to the overall rate of head-on accidents. This is because the force of two vehicles directly colliding magnifies the impact the body must bear in an accident, exacerbating the risk of serious car accident injuries.
Motorists must be aware of the dangers on the roads, including the significant dangers of head-on collisions. Awareness is the first step towards making smart choices and avoiding accidents in State College. This is why it is so crucial for drivers to understand where head-on collisions are most likely to happen.
Where are Head-On Collisions Most Likely to Occur?
Rural roads, especially undivided two lane roads, are the site of 75 percent of head-on collisions and are the location where head-on collisions are most likely to occur. Safety Transportation reports 75 percent of all crashes happen on roads in which there is just a yellow line to break up two opposing lanes of traffic.
Federal Highway Administration also warns about dangers located on or near highways. Head-on crashes on highways, off-ramps, and on-ramps frequently result from drivers who get onto these roads in the opposite direction they are permitted to, traveling opposing oncoming traffic. Stopping is difficult for approaching drivers and wrong-way drivers on highways and often limited space means there is nowhere for cars traveling at high speeds to go. With vehicles unable to get out of the way as they head directly for each other, head-on crashes are a natural result.
In Pennsylvania, there were 9,462 accidents on state interstates; 79,250 crashes on other state highways; and 2,455 collisions on the PA turnpike. The accidents caused 94 fatalities on interstates, 887 fatalities on other state highways, and 16 fatalities on the interstate. The accidents also caused 5,474 injuries on interstates, 54,292 injuries on state highways, and 1,143 injuries on the turnpike. Not all were head-on crashes; however, when drivers go the wrong way on an interstate a head-on crash is almost always likely to happen as a result of this error.
Drivers should be alert to pavement markings and road signs to avoid head-on crashes on interstates. NBC suggests placing traffic signs lower could help drivers to avoid going the wrong-way onto a highway. On rural roads, drivers must prioritize safe passing, avoiding distractions and drowsy driving, and traveling the speed limit when traveling to avoid veering into opposing lanes of traffic. On both rural roads and highways, motorists must avoid the use of alcohol before driving. When motorists are careful in high-risk areas where head-on collisions are most likely to occur, fatality rates should hopefully decline.