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The Consequences of a Head-on Motorcycle Collision

Posted on January 17, 2023

Head-on collisions occur when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide front end to front end. In these accidents, there is a high risk of fatal injuries, and even higher when motorcyclists are involved. 

Common Injuries from Head-On Motorcycle Collisions

Regardless of the other vehicle involved, a motorcycle rider will almost always suffer severe, if not fatal injuries, such as the following: 

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

The chances of a head or brain injury are extremely high and can be fatal. According to our traumatic brain injury attorney in Philadelphia, brain injuries are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or the result of an object penetrating the skull. Severe TBIs can leave a motorcyclist with severe cognitive, behavioral, and/or physical impairments. 

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Depending on the severity of an SCI, it can cause a degree of paralysis. A complete SCI results in total loss of movement and sensation below the injury level, while an incomplete SCI leaves some degree of mobility and sensation below the level of injury. SCIs can also affect other body parts and systems, possibly completely altering a motorcyclist’s future.


When a limb is severed in a crash or severely damaged, it can require surgical amputation later. An amputation not only causes serious physical pain and emotional trauma, but their ability to work, move, and be independent is often significantly impacted. As a result, the long-term financial costs can, on average, range from $100,000 to more than $700,000. 

Internal Bleeding

Blunt trauma to the body can cause a wide range of internal injuries. Some of these injuries might not be immediately apparent, especially if there are no external wounds, increasing the risk of complications, permanent issues, or death. 

Long-Term Consequences of a Head-On Motorcycle Collision

The effects of a head-on motorcycle collision can last an extended period of time and may even be permanent. Recovery from some severe injuries is possible, but some symptoms may never disappear. Many motorcyclists will have to adjust to a new way of life with additional challenges when it comes to living independently, keeping a job, communicating effectively, socializing, and more. As a result, these newfound hardships can take a toll mentally and may lead to fluctuating emotions and depression. In addition to physical repercussions, there are typically also long-term financial challenges. Depending on the severity of an injury, lifetime medical costs and living expenses can reach millions.  

Causes of Head-On Motorcycle Accidents 

There are multiple scenarios where a head-on motorcycle collision can occur, for example:

  • An initial vehicle gets hit by another vehicle, causing it to crash into an oncoming motorcycle.
  • A vehicle swerves to avoid a road obstruction or darting animal and crosses the centerline.
  • A driver or motorcyclist is distracted or impaired and drifts into the opposite lane.
  • A driver or motorcyclist takes a risky overtaking maneuver, especially if on a blind curve.
  • A vehicle is excessively speeding, resulting in loss of control.
  • Mechanical defects such as brake failure, stuck accelerator, or defective cruise control. 
  • Environmental factors such as debris on the road, torrential rain or black ice. 

Philadelphia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

The severity of these types of collisions will often depend on the type of vehicle involved, speed, and whether the motorcyclist is wearing a helmet. Contact one of our trusted motorcycle accident attorneys today.