A deadly motor vehicle accident occurred recently when a driver was traveling northbound and crossed a double yellow line. The driver struck another man's vehicle head-on, causing the driver to become stuck in his pickup truck as it started on fire. The driver who had crossed the double yellow line was removed from his truck by passerby and sent for treatment to a burn unit. The man whose vehicle had been hit died at the scene, while his wife and their 14-year-old grandson who were in the vehicle were flown to a hospital in Roanoke, VA to obtain treatment for injuries. According to WDBJ 7 , the cause of the head-on accident is still under investigation.
The head-on accident is one of many which occur after a driver crosses over a double yellow line. Drivers must be aware of the risks of head-on crashes in Virginia as well as aware of the locations where head-on collisions are most likely to occur.
Where Are Head-On Collisions Most Likely to Occur?
The Commonwealth of Virginia published 2014 Traffic Crash Facts. These statistics show:
- 1,072 drivers caused collisions due to improper passing.
- 1,481 drivers caused collisions by veering to the left of the center when they were not passing.
Improper passing and crossing a line are common causes of head-on collisions. These types of crashes are especially likely on rural roads. Seventy-five percent of all head-on collisions throughout the United States happen in rural areas according to Safety Transportation. Improper passing and drivers crossing center lines are also especially common on two lane roads without a median and with only a double yellow dividing line to keep traffic separate. Undivided two lane roads are the location of 75 percent of all U.S. head-on accidents.
Highways are other common locations of head-on collisions, often caused by drivers who travel the wrong way onto a highway. Senior drivers and drunk drivers are especially likely to travel in the wrong direction on a highway and cause a car crash to occur.
When you know the locations where head-on collisions are most likely to occur, you can take steps to help avoid them. Zenith has some safe driving tips aimed at preventing head-on collisions. Tips include:
- Driving only if you are alert.
- Driving only if you are sober.
- Scanning ahead on the road, as far as the next curve or the next hill or the upcoming two corners in a city location so you can identify hazards early.
- Remaining centered within your lane as oncoming motorists are less likely to stray into the center of your lane.
- Following the speed limits to reduce the impact in case of a crash and to allow more time to react.
By following these basic safety tips and being aware of locations where head-on collisions are most likely to happen, you can stay safer on the roads and avoid causing crashes which could endanger yourself or others.