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New Study Provides Hope for Improved Safety for Drivers Involved in Head-On Collisions

August 19, 2013

When accidents occur at highway speeds, the force of impact exacted on vehicle occupants can cause devastating injuries that permanently affect the quality of life of drivers and passengers.  When Georgia motorists are involved in head-on collisions, the force of impact and severity of injuries are often more severe than in any other type of crash.  A research study conducted by the Association for the Advancement of Automobile Medicine (AAAM) has provided suggestions regarding a new safety consideration in the design of vehicles that may make occupants safer during these extremely dangerous types of collisions.  While many presume that the bulk and weight of a vehicle, such as a large SUV is a key factor of crashworthiness in head-on collisions, a recent study suggest this is not the only safety feature that new car purchasers may want to consider.

A recent fatal head-on collision in Cobb County that resulted in the tragic death of a Marietta resident serves as a tragic reminder of the potentially devastating consequences of head-on crashes.  The crash on Powder Springs Road occurred when the driver of a 1997 Oldsmobile Achieva suddenly veered into an adjacent lane of traffic moving in the opposite direction and hit a 2008 Toyota Tacoma head-on according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) report.  The AJC article indicates that the driver of the Oldsmobile was fatally injured and died at the scene, whereas the occupant of the Tacoma was hospitalized with serious injuries.  The report also indicates that the reason that the driver of the Oldsmobile swerved into oncoming traffic is under investigation.  Our Cobb County car accident lawyers express our deep condolences to the families of this tragic fatal crash.

While wearing seatbelts during a head-on collision is an essential safety measure to mitigate injuries during a head-on collision like the Cobb County car crash, vehicle purchasers may also look at crashworthiness ratings to determine how well vehicles fair in head-on vehicle crashes.  While the weight of a vehicle is a factor that many people consider when purchasing a means of transporting their family, the recent AAAM study suggests that “vehicle stiffness” is another key factor in determining crashworthiness during a head-on collision.

The study examined 120,000 real world head-on collisions included in the National Highway Traffic Administration’s (NHTSA’s) collision database.  The study confirmed prior studies indicating a correlation between the severity of injury in a head-on collision and the weight of a vehicle.  As previous studies showed, heavier vehicles tended to reduce the severity of injury in head-on crashes.  However, the study also revealed that in accidents where the airbag deployed, the most significant factor in reducing the severity of injury was “vehicle stiffness.”  The authors indicate that this factor means less penetration into the passenger compartment.  According to the researchers, this factor is at least as important in reducing the number of severe injuries like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage and fatalities in head-on accidents.

The study authors have recommended that motor vehicle manufacturers incorporate these findings to improve crashworthiness of new vehicles in head-on crashes.  Our Cobb County car accident attorneys frequently see the tragic impact of head-on collisions so we laud this new information that may eventually improve crashworthiness in new vehicles. 

The Atlanta car accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates provide effective legal representation to injury victims and their families throughout all of Georgia, the Southeast and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state of Georgia.  No matter where you are located our Atlanta personal injury lawyers are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333).  You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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