A HEAD-ON COLLISON occurs when one vehicle hits head-on to another vehicle.  A Head-On Collision can also occur with with a vehicle crash into a fixed object, such as a tree, utility pole or a structure. A head-on collision is very dangerous and could be lethal at high speeds. Air bags and seat belts are the best protection. If a driver can slow down without losing control, the force of impact from a head-on collision may be reduced. .

Some of the causes of a head-on collision are unsafe passing, driving on the wrong side of the street or road or driving the wrong way on a one-way street or divided highway.

Head on Collisions

A SIDE COLLISON happens when another vehicle hits you from the side. Many vehicles, and the driver and passengers in them, a more vulnerable in a side collision as the area of the door pillars can be the weakest part of the structure.  A side collision where one vehicle is perpendicular to the other, is sometimes call a T-BONE collision.

Side Collision

If at all possible, adjust your track of your vehicle to try to create a glancing, or “SIDE SWIPE” collision, rather than a “T-BONE” situation – the danger will be highest when the vehicle hits you at the driver or passenger side.

CREDIT: Millar & Mixon

REAR-END COLLISIONS occur when one vehicle crashes into the vehicle directly in front of it. These are common when the vehicles are following too closely. Drivers must be alert to be aware of other vehicles making sudden moves – lane changes or coming on to road in your lane of traffic, and sudden stops so that you have time to react.  Drivers must also be aware of the vehicles behind them – making sure those drivers  have time to react,  if you must stop your vehicle unexpectedly.

When a number of drivers fail to control speed, maintain safety cushions, or allow for slippery road conditions and low visibility, often a MULTIPLE-VEHICLE COLLISON happens.  This is also referred to as a CHAIN-REACTION COLLISION. Generally occurring on high-capacity and high-speed routes such as freeways, they are one of the deadliest forms of traffic accidents. The most disastrous pile-ups have involved more than a hundred vehicles.

CREDIT: A.W. Smith

ROLLOVERS happen when your vehicle flips over to its side or top. Vehicles going at excessive speeds have a potential to roll over, especially when the driver turns the steering wheel sharply and suddenly.

Always follow the advisory speed sign for the highest speed you should travel around the curve. Taller and narrower vehicles are more likely to roll over. Seat belts protect you in case of a rollover.

In the next topic, we will review ways for you to avoid crashes and collisions.