A public information presentation by the Ohio State Patrol describes the sequence of events during the split second in which two cars collide head-on at fifty-five miles per hour (55 mph) and suggests what motorists can do to lessen the damage from this kind of crash. A study of head-on accident experience in Ohio indicates that urestrained occupants are particularly susceptible to death and severe injury and that the very nature of the head-on collision requires occupant restraint and passenger packaging to reduce the death rate. On the average, four people are killed in every three fatal head-on collisions, the majority of which occur on rural highways where normal and legal speeds are higher. The closing speed (speed at which vehicles approach each other) is generally too fast to permit driver actions that reduce impact severity. In the event of a collision, occupants are thrown forward where they hit the car interior. Both vehicles rotate about one another very rapidly, and this spinning action tends to hurl passengers to the rear of the car and to the side of the vehicle that has been damaged. The angled or T-bone head-on collision usually occurs when one driver partially loses control on slippery pavement and fails to take proper corrective action. Seat belts can prevent some fatalities in head-on collisions. Recommendations for avoiding such accidents are offered, including visual search, slower speed, and avoiding driving after drinking.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Safety Council

    444 North Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL  United States  60611
  • Authors:
    • Walsh, J
  • Publication Date: 1980-7

Media Info

  • Pagination: 3 p.
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00376834
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-030 062
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 30 1983 12:00AM