Attorney David J. King


Avoiding a head-on collision is not easy

Though driving is a daily occurrence for most South Dakota residents, it is an activity that can go from mundane to frightening in a matter of seconds. You could simply be going about your day, making your way to work or to run errands, when a sudden hazard presents itself on the roadway. Suddenly, your heart may race and your hands may sweat, and you may not know what to do.

It can be particularly difficult to think straight when a wrong-way driver is heading straight for your vehicle. It may seem as if your brain locks up, and you cannot believe what you see. Hopefully, that disbelief lasts only for a moment and your instincts kick into action.

Can you avoid a head-on collision?

Unfortunately, wrong-way drivers are not altogether uncommon, and the head-on collisions they often cause can have devastating results. Undoubtedly, you want to avoid ending up in this scenario at all costs. Of course, avoiding a wrong-way driver is not always easy, and you may still end up in an accident, nonetheless.

If you hope to avoid a head-on collision, you may have the ability to carry out any of the following suggested actions:

  • Slow down as much as possible before the wrong-way driver reaches your vehicle.
  • Drive off the side of the road if you cannot stay on the pavement to avoid a collision.
  • Avoid swerving into the opposite lane of travel to avoid a collision because the wrong-way driver may attempt to get back in his or her lane, and you could still end up in that vehicle’s path.
  • Remember that colliding with a stationary object is often safer than ending up in a head-on crash with another vehicle.
  • Stop your vehicle to avoid an oncoming car but remember that this action could cause a rear-end collision.
  • Try to stay in the middle or to the right side of your lane. This may lessen the likelihood of a head-on crash even if a sideswipe still occurs.

As you can tell, though these actions may help you avoid a head-on crash, they do not guarantee that you will completely avoid an accident. 

What can you do after an accident?

If you do end up seriously injured in a car accident caused by a wrong-way driver, you may want to consider your legal options. You may have reason to file a personal injury claim against the driver considered at fault in efforts to seek compensation for damages permitted under state law.