Bibb County Deputies have identified 2 victims involved in a fatal head-on collision on Sardis Church Road on Tuesday, November 24. Anthony Bailey, age 42, and 58-year-old Tonya Crews crashed around 6:34 pm when Bailey’s Nissan Altima crossed the median and into the other lane before hitting Crews’ Chevrolet Camaro.
Tragically, both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene, and the case is still under investigation by the Bibb County Sheriff’s Department. The cause for the accident can only be speculated, but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous.
Dangers of head-on collisions and statistics
Head-on collisions, or “frontal crashes,” are when 2 vehicles traveling in opposite directions hit each other in the front, just as Bailey and Crews did.
Head-on collisions reported in 2018 accounted for 56% of passenger vehicle deaths, according to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Many may believe these collisions are more likely to occur in urban areas, but surprisingly that’s not the case. Rural areas are the most common places where a head-on crash occurs.
In fact, only 7 percent of fatal crashes are frontal collisions in urban areas. Rural areas are 6 percent more likely to have fatal head-on collisions.
Common causes of head-on collisions
- Direction. Frontal impacts are most likely to happen when drivers are traveling in the wrong lane or going the wrong way down a one-way street. For example, if you’re driving on a two-lane road with 2 solid lines and get into the left lane, someone driving the opposite direction may hit because you’re in the wrong lane.
- Distractions. Any action that distracts the driver from focusing on the road is considered distracted driving. Texting while driving is the most common example, but distracted driving also includes fiddling with the radio, talking to passengers, eating and drinking, even reaching behind you to grab something from the back of the car is a distraction.
- Under the influence. Driving while intoxicated or after taking drugs can impact how you drive, which means you’re much more likely to find yourself in a head-on collision.
- Mechanical failure. Sometimes all an accident is just that—an accident. It’s scary when the power steering fails or the brakes stop working, and either malfunction can cause a head-on collision through no fault of the driver. If this happens, be sure to inform the officer investigating the car crash so that you have it on the police report.
How to prevent frontal collisions
There’s not a guaranteed fix-for-all solution to every car crash, but there are basic steps drivers can take to minimize them. For example, don’t drive while drowsy. If you’re finding it difficult to keep your eyes open, pull over and rest. It’s better to be late to your final destination than not at all.
If you know you’re going to be drinking, make sure you have a designated driver or have a plan to get a ride home. In addition, be careful not to mix drugs and driving—even prescription drugs. Some prescription medicines suggest avoiding operating heavy machinery, and this includes driving any sort of motor vehicle.
When there are passengers in the car, the driver is responsible for their safety. You want to talk to your friends and listen to music while driving, but if these can be distracting. Don’t hesitate to turn off the music and stay quiet so you can safely drive.
Many states now consider texting while driving illegal. Effective July 1, 2018, the Georgia hands-free law says that drivers are no longer allowed to use their phones while driving unless they use a speech to text function, navigation app, or have a dash camera.
What to do after a head-on collision
There’s no guarantee drivers will avoid head-on collisions, or any other type of car accident, for as long as they drive. Even with preventative measures, there’s still a high chance that Georgians will need to know what to do after a head-on collision.
- Check for injuries. Head-on collisions are often the most likely to cause severe injuries because drivers are often traveling at high speeds. If you can, check yourself and passengers for injuries. If you notice any cuts and lacerations, broken bones, or head injuries, try not to move as much as possible and wait for paramedics to arrive.
- Call the police. Even in the rare event that there are no injuries after you’ve experienced a frontal impact, always call the police to report an accident. Colliding with the front of another vehicle often results in serious damage to both vehicles. A police report will be important when you file a claim with your insurer.
- Photograph the scene. If you’re able to safely, take pictures of both vehicles and the surrounding area as evidence. Take close-ups and shots from multiple angles of all the damages, any imperfections in the road, road signs, and weather conditions.
- Fill out the police report. When talking to police, be as clear as possible and don’t leave out any details because they may be relevant in determining who’s at fault.
- Contact your insurance. After the police hand you a copy of the report (or a card with a case number and where to pick it up), notify your insurance as soon as possible so they can open a claim and help you determine if the car can be fixed. When it comes to head-on collisions, it’s likely your car will be totaled.
When you are in an immense amount of pain, filing a claim might be the last thing on your mind. You might not have the mental or emotional capacity to think about the deadline, let alone how you’re going to get through the week.
Contact the right Georgia car accident attorney for you
Approximately 70 drivers are involved in car accidents every hour in the state of Georgia. That means over 1,500 accidents occur every single day. Many of these drivers find it difficult to navigate the aftermath of a car accident, especially when insurance denies their claim or they suffer from serious injuries.
If you or a loved one are involved in a head-on collision and need help, our Georgia car accident attorneys are here for you. More than 200 years of combined experience make Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson one of the oldest and most distinguished firms in the southeast.
With offices located in Macon, Albany, and Warner Robins, we can help you navigate the difficulties of a car accident anywhere in Georgia. Don’t settle for less. Call us today for your free initial consultation.