A new study has found that wrong-way crashes have been increasing each year, resulting in more deaths. According to the study, which was conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the average number of deaths per year in wrong-way accidents has jumped from 375 deaths to 500 deaths annually. In Virginia, more than 10 people are killed each year in these types of head-on accidents.
In many of these accidents, there is often alcohol involved. Just last week, three people were killed on Interstate 95 when a driver attempted to get away from Virginia State Police troopers. The driver drove head-on into a pickup truck. The head-on crash killed both drivers and a passenger in the who was with the at-fault vehicle driver.
When a vehicle slams into another vehicle in the front at full impact, the forces caused by the crash will bring both vehicles to a full stop, but often causes great harm to any occupants in the vehicles. Sometimes the force is so strong is causes one or both vehicles to roll over. The injuries that victims suffer are often catastrophic, including:
- Brain injuries: Although the vehicles have airbags that deploy in a head-on crash that are meant to cushion and prevent head injuries, there is still a high risk of the victim hitting their head on the wheel, dashboard, headrest, windows, or other object due to the force of the impact.
- Fractured bones: The crumbling of the vehicle caused by the impact usually causes fractured bones, such as the victim’s legs or arms from the steering wheel. If the fractures are severe enough, the victim may even need to have the limb amputated. There is also a high risk of broken ribs, which can pierce the lungs.
- Internal injuries: The stress caused by the impact force can also cause serious damage to a victim’s organs and/or cause internal bleeding. Severe damage to a victim’s lungs, heart, or excessive amount of blood loss can quickly turn fatal.
- Spinal cord injuries: The sudden jolt of a head-on crash can cause the victim’s head and neck to snap back and forward, which can result in severe whiplash and damage neck vertebrae. There is also a high risk of damage to back vertebrae, including herniated or compressed discs. There are also many accidents where the spinal cord itself is injured, leaving the victim with permanent paralysis.
- Burn injuries: Because the impact of a head-on crash can be so intense, it is not uncommon for one or both vehicles to catch on fire, leaving vehicle occupants trapped and unable to get out of the vehicle in time to escape burn injuries and/or smoke inhalation.
Contact a Virginia Beach Personal Injury Attorney for Legal Assistance
If you have been injured in a crash caused by a driver who was speeding, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to see what type of financial damages you may be entitled to. The legal team from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn have been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled personal injury attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today at 800-752-0042 for a free case evaluation.