Where Head-On Collisions are Most Likely to Occur in Philadelphia
Philadelphia drivers must be aware of the most common locations where head-on crashes occur within the state of Pennsylvania. Head-on crashes are frequently fatal or result in serious, permanent injuries. These accidents are so serious because of the force and momentum which results when two vehicles directly strike each other.
With the holiday season approaching and more motorists likely to be on the roads, as well as higher percentages of intoxicated motorists on holiday weekends, motorists need to make smart and safe choices to reduce the possibility of head-on crashes. Knowing where and how these car accidents happen is the first step.
Where Are the Most Common Locations of Head-On Crashes?
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation statistics show 3,921 head-on crashes happened in 2014. These head-on collisions caused 120 fatalities. While head-on crashes made up just 3.2 percent of total accidents, they were the cause of 10 percent of deaths in motor vehicle accidents.
Head-on crashes often occur on entrance and exit ramps to highways, as well as on highways themselves. Drivers may get onto highways going in the wrong direction, and may thus strike another vehicle head-on as they approach opposing vehicles.
In PA, 9,462 accidents in 2014 happened on state highways or interstates, resulting in 94 fatalities and 5,474 injuries. Another 79,250 crashes happened on other state highways, causing 887 fatalities and 54,292 injuries. On the turnpike, there were 2,455 total crashes which resulted in 16 deaths and 1,143 injuries. While not all of these highway crashes were head-on, crashes in which drivers go the wrong way on highways almost always involve vehicles directly hitting from the front.
Highways, on ramps and off ramps are not the most dangerous place for head-on collisions, though. Safety Transportation warns 75 percent of head-on crashes nationally occur when motorists are traveling on rural roads. Statewide, there were 30,183 collisions in Pennsylvania on local roads. These crashes resulted in 198 people being killed and 18,842 people sustaining injuries.
Of the collisions on rural or local roads, most happen on undivided two lane roads and most happen when drivers are going straight. Safety Transportation indicates 75 percent of head-on crashes nationally happened on two lane roads with only a dividing yellow line and no median or barrier. In total, 68 percent happened when drivers were going straight on these roads and 23 percent happened when motorists were traveling around a curve.
Head-on crashes cause a higher portion of fatal crashes in rural areas than in rural areas. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows 13 percent of fatal rural collisions occur when drivers strike head-on, compared with seven percent of urban collisions.
Head-on crashes on both rural roads and highways are frequently a result of driver intoxication, driver distraction, drowsy driving, or problems with road signs and pavement markings not being clear enough. Motorists need to understand the high risk locations and be especially careful to avoid head-on crashes there.