Head-on crashes contribute to a disproportionate amount of traffic fatalities. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 14 percent of roadway deaths each year result from head-on collisions, and the vast majority are avoidable.
To prevent head-on collisions, motorists should follow the four Rs. See below to learn what they are and how they protect drivers.
1. Drive right
Rather than hug the center line, drive with your vehicle closer to the right of your lane. If you see a collision coming towards you, go right towards the shoulder. Never try to avoid a head-on collision by driving into the left lane.
2. Reduce your speed
Reducing your speed might avoid the accident altogether. Slow down without stopping or swerving if you see a vehicle driving the wrong way. Stopping completely creates a dangerous situation for drivers behind you and might lead to a multi-car collision.
3. Read the road
Reading ahead is essential to avoiding collisions. Always be aware of hills, curves in the street and space on the side of the road for you to pull off. Also, pay attention to oncoming traffic for indications of inattentive driving.
4. Ride off the road
If all else fails, you can ride off the road. If you slow down and determine you cannot avoid the accident, steer into the shoulder of the road. Even if you reduce the collision to a side swipe, you might decrease the likelihood of injury or death.
Head-on collisions rely partly on other motorists to drive responsibly. However, you have total control over how safely you drive. Follow the four R’s and do your part to prevent the most dangerous collision.