A head-on car accident occurred Sunday evening when a Richland man driving southeast of Union Gap crossed into oncoming traffic on Interstate 82 hitting a pickup driving eastbound. The couple driving the pickup were taken to Virginia Mason Memorial in Yakima. The Richland man was not injured but was charged with second-degree negligent driving for speeding in bad road conditions. All three involved in the car accident were reported wearing seat belts at the time of the accident said a state patrol officer.

How Head-on Car Accident Collisions Occur

Head-on car accidents generally occur when a car crosses over the centerline or median and crashes with an approaching car. Other head-on car accidents occur when a driver knowingly or unknowingly drives the wrong way in a traffic lane. Statistics from the Fatal Analysis Reporting System(FARS) showed that 75 percent of head-on car accidents happen on rural roads. This report also showed that 75 percent of head-on car accidents occur on undivided two-lane roads and 83 percent of two-lane undivided car accidents are on rural roads. These statistics indicate that most head-on car accidents result from a driver making an “unintentional” maneuver such as the driver falls asleep, is distracted, drunk, is driving too fast for road conditions or is speeding.

Strategies to Prevent Head-on Car Accident Collisions

Providing adequate passing zones is one way to reduce the number of head-on car accident collisions. Here are a few more strategies to prevent or reduce head-on car accident collisions.

  • Install centerline rumble strips for two-lane roads.
  • Install profiled thermoplastic strips for centerlines.
  • Provide wider cross sections on two-lane roads.
  • Provide center two-way left-turn lanes for four and two-lane roads.
  • Reallocate total two-lane roadway width (lane and shoulder) to include a narrow “buffer-median.”
  • Use alternating passing lanes or four-lane sections at key locations.
  • Install median barriers for narrow-width medians on multilane roads.
  • Better pavement markings.
  • Skid-resistant pavement surfaces.
  • Rumble strips to slow vehicles on approaches to hazardous locations.

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