A Jonesboro police officer sustained injury recently when he was involved in a head-on collision with a truck. The accident happened on Arkansas 351, which is a road located just to the north of the city limits of Jonesboro. THV 11 reports the officer sustained injuries, as did the other driver who was involved in the motor vehicle accident. The cause of the head-on crash has not yet been identified, but an investigation is taking place to determine why the head-on accident happened.
Head-on crashes involve a direct hit between the front of two cars, which leads to magnified force and which means serious and often fatal injuries frequently result. Zenith reports 5,200 fatalities occur in the United States over the course of a year because of head-on crashes. Prevention is important since-head on crashes, compared to other types of car accidents, cause a disproportionate number of fatal and permanent injuries. Both drivers and lawmakers need to be aware of where head-on collisions are most likely to occur so they can develop effective methods of preventing these type of accidents.
Where Head-On Crashes are Most Likely to Occur
Head-on crashes can happen anywhere, with many occurring at night and many involving drunk drivers. These types of crashes are both more likely to occur in rural areas instead of urban areas and also more likely to account for a higher percent of fatalities in rural locations.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 13 percent of deadly collisions which occur within rural locations happen when drivers strike each other dead-on. Safety Transportation reports 3/4 of head-on collisions also occur in rural areas. In urban areas, head-on crashes account for seven percent of deaths. Less than 1/4 of all head-on collisions happen in urban locations.
On rural roads, 68 percent of head-on crashes occur when both drivers are traveling straight, and 75 percent of head-on crashes occur on two lane roads which are only divided by a double yellow line on the pavement (not by a median or other physical barrier). Close to five percent of nationwide head-on crashes happen when a driver is trying to pass another motorist, and almost two percent happen in construction zones where lanes of traffic are forced closer together because of work being performed.
Other sites of head-on crashes include on-ramps and off-ramps, as well as freeways. Federal Highway Administration data shows a high rate of head-on crashes in areas where drivers are likely to accidentally go the wrong way on a freeway. This includes situations where a left-turning driver must travel past the wrong lane in order to get to the lane he needs to be in when getting onto a highway. One design which forces a left turner to do this is a cloverleaf design, where the exit and entrance ramps of a highway are parallel to each other and run right next to each other. Setups like this can cause confusion and are a common location of head-on crashes.