Three motorists in Oklahoma were hospitalized recently after two vehicles collided head-on and both vehicles caught on fire. Oklahoma News 9 reported the road where the crash occurred was closed for more than five hours as crews cleared the accident scene and as police investigated the evidence which could point to potential reasons for the crash.
In a head-on accident, fatalities are common, as are serious injuries. It is important to determine where head-on crashes are most likely to occur. With an understanding of locations where drivers frequently collide head-on, lawmakers can establish safety policies and road designs aimed at mitigating risks. Motorists can also make sure they are extra cautious in areas where there chances of a head-on crash are greatest.
Where Are Head-On Accidents Most Likely to Occur?
Head-on crashes occur on highways after drivers get onto highways going in the opposite direction from where they should go. Head-on crashes also occur on rural roads and on roads where there are two lanes of opposing traffic with only a double yellow line to divide the differing lanes. Safety Transportation indicates 75 percent of all head-on crashes occur on undivided two lane roads and 75 percent occur on rural roads throughout the United States.
In Oklahoma, a total of 2,029 non-intersection related car accidents happened on rural U.S. highways and 7,711 non-intersection related accidents happened on interstate highways. Another 2,307 crashes occurred on rural state highways and 632 happened on interstate turnpikes.
Country roads were the site of 3,631 accidents in Oklahoma and 16,390 collisions statewide happened on city streets. Urban state highways were the location of 2,655 collisions not related to intersections and urban U.S. highways were the location of 3,536 crashes. Finally, there were 600 non-intersection related accidents on non-interstate turnpike roads.
Only a small percentage of these accidents were head-on crashes, but head-on collisions are disproportionately deadly. Zenith reports there are more than 5,200 people throughout the United States who die in head-on accidents each year.
Drivers need to be careful when getting onto highways and when on undivided or rural roads since these are the most common locations of head-on crashes. Drivers should travel the speed limit, stay centered in their own lane, look at the road ahead to scan for signs of hazards, and never drive unless they are sober and alert.
Lawmakers should provide adequate signs warning when motorists are in no passing zones. Rumble strips can help stop drivers from crossing double yellow lines into the opposing traffic lane. Pavement markings can help to make clear when a driver is going the wrong way on the highway. Reflectors and clear signs indicating “Wrong Way” are helpful in head-on crash prevention. Signs should be set low, where they are more easily seen by impaired drivers and by drivers at night.