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Head-on Collisions in Florida


There is no such thing as a pleasant automobile collision; yet none are more dangerous than head-on collisions. These dangerous, often fatal crashes occur when the median is crossed by one vehicle in the direct line of fire of an oncoming motorist. Whether the result of a deliberate attempt to make a pass, or careless meandering across the median and inadvertently entering oncoming traffic, these accidents can be heart wrenching. An experienced attorney can be invaluable in the aftermath of these tragic collisions. Sadly, Florida experiences more than its fair share of these accidents:

  • 2016 wrapped up with a fatal head-on collision as a result of a pass attempt gone wrong on US 1 on December 30.
  • 2017 started off with a fatal head-on collision January 1st just outside Lake City.
  • A Port Charlotte woman was killed in yet another January 2017 head-on collision.
  • A Clay County man who crashed into an oncoming vehicle in his lane was in critical condition after one more head-on crash in January 2017.
  • Two individuals were hospitalized following a head-on collision in Palm Bay in January 2017.

Head-on Collision Facts

The list of these horrendous accidents goes on to include many more injuries and deaths. What do we know about head-on collisions? The statistics are revealing:

  • Three-quarters of these crashes transpire on rural roadways.
  • Undivided, two lane roads experience 75 percent of these accidents;
  • Over 80 percent of the two-lane, undivided road accidents occur on roads in rural areas.

Factors Impacting Head-on Collisions

What conclusions can be drawn from these statistics? It seems that passing maneuvers are responsible for a large number of these accidents. However, virtually all fatal head-on collisions were not the result of failed passes.

In fact one study reported that only 4.2 percent of 4,430 urban head-on fatalities occurred while passing or overtaking another motorist, with only a slightly higher percentage of these accidents occurring on rural roadways.

Rather, the vast majority of fatal head-on crashes were related to drivers going straight (91 percent) or failing to negotiate a curve (23 percent), whether on urban or rural roads.

The conclusion drawn from this data indicate that poorly negotiating curves may result in head-on collisions due to several key factors:

  • Distracted driving;
  • Falling asleep at the wheel;
  • Inappropriate speed;
  • Impaired driving;
  • Weather issues;
  • Roadway debris or animals.

Reducing Head-on Collisions

The state has taken action to attempt to lessen the frequency and impact of head-on collisions, including creating rumble strips, improving highway geometry, and eliminating edge drops. But the ultimate responsibility for reducing head-on collisions lies with motorists. Drivers can reduce these collisions by staying alert, driving defensively, and realizing that the consequences of excessive speed, particularly in inclement weather, may have serious consequences.

If you or a loved one is involved in a head-on collision resulting in serious injury or death, compassionate legal guidance from the team at the Law Office of Robert W. Elton in Daytona and Ormond Beach can help you obtain the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a personalized consultation at no cost. We will pursue your case aggressively to get you a fair settlement.