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Head-on collisions are the deadliest truck accidents

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents, Truck Accidents |

Many road users in Ohio lose their lives each year in accidents involving semi-tractor trailers, and quite a few of them die in head-on collisions. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 31% of the passenger vehicle occupants who died in truck accidents nationwide in 2021 were killed when their cars, pickup trucks or SUVs struck large commercial vehicles head-on. These accidents are particularly dangerous because they usually take place at high speeds and give drivers little or no opportunity to take evasive action.

What causes head-on truck accidents?

Drivers sometimes stray into the path of oncoming traffic because of mechanical failures, vehicle defects or treacherous road conditions, but the majority of head on collisions involving tractor-trailers are caused by passenger vehicle or truck drivers who are impaired, fatigued or distracted. When truck drivers cross the center line, investigators are usually able to determine what caused them to lose control of their vehicles.

Truck accident investigations

Deadly big rig accidents are investigated thoroughly. When injuries are serious or lives are lost, tractor-trailers that crash are rigorously inspected, their drivers are subjected to toxicology testing and electronic information including hours of service records is scrutinized. Investigators may also obtain a truck driver’s wireless service records if they believe distraction may have caused a commercial vehicle collision.

Avoiding head-on collisions

Unfortunately, there is little passenger vehicle drivers can do to avoid being seriously injured or killed by tractor-trailers that cross into the path of oncoming traffic. Using the rightmost lane and staying away from the center line could give drivers an extra second or two to react, but that may not be enough time to avoid a collision. Investigators are usually able to find out why trucks involved in head-on collisions strayed out of their lanes, and their findings can provide accident victims with valuable evidence.