The prospect of a car accident in St. Petersburg is dangerous enough in and of itself, but the mere idea of a head-on collision is nothing short of frightening. These situations are extraordinarily dangerous. They typically occur when one driver crosses the center line and veers into oncoming traffic. They’re more common on rural roadways and undivided two-lane highways than they are anywhere else, so while metro drivers don’t typically see them, they are still very much a possibility.
What Do the Numbers Show?
The data show that these accidents occur in just two percent of cases, according to the Federal Highway Safety Administration. Of those cases, 83 percent occurred on rural roads. Most research suggests that head-on crashes are likely to result from unintentional moves like drivers falling asleep, getting distracted, or simply traveling too fast into a curve. Other contributing factors can certainly play a role, like alcohol use.
Despite the lower number of crashes, they account for ten percent of the fatalities in car accidents in the United States today.
Just such an instance was seen in a head-on collision near Saint Petersburg, in Brooksville in December 2014, as related in this Tampa Bay Times article. One of the drivers veered into the lane of the other and they both died. Another example of a head-on collision with tragic results was the incident in Sumter County, as reported by Bay News 9 in December 2014. Again, a vehicle crossed the center line and ran into traffic traveling the opposite direction. Just a few days later, also in Sumter County, a man failed to stay in his lane of traffic, crossed over into oncoming traffic, and ran head-on into a tractor-trailer, with fatal results.
Preventing head-on car accidents is possible. You can start the process by becoming a safe driver. Don’t get behind the wheel if you aren’t alert and sober. As you drive, you should continually scan the road ahead for any potential hazards. Be sure you stay well-centered in your lane and obey the speed limits so you have the proper amount of reaction time before a hazard appears.
If a vehicle crosses into your lane, slow down immediately, and be prepared to drive off the road if necessary to avoid an accident. Driving into a ditch is dangerous, but it tends to be far less so than a head-on accident. Always drive to the right to avoid a collision.
If an accident seems imminent, drive to the right to get out of the way, maintain your speed, and keep at least two wheels on the pavement. If the choice is between hitting another driver head-on or hitting a fixed object (i.e., a tree or light pole), choose the fixed object because it doesn’t have any traveling momentum to add to the impact. If there is no other choice, and your split-second decision-making skills tell you there is no way to avoid a head-on collision, strive to hit at the farthest point right as possible. If you do so, chances are good that the impact will be less intense.