Whether someone is driving around curves or traveling on one of Virginia’s straightest stretches of highway, there is the possibility of a head-on collision. According to Roadtrip America, these accidents don’t happen as often as rear-end collisions and t-bones, but when they do happen, everyone in both vehicles faces a high risk of fatal injuries.

Can a bumper to bumper crash be avoided? Finish Today Driving School provides these guidelines for minimizing the chances of a head-on crash, or, if the crash is not avoidable, minimizing the impact and subsequent damage.

Swerve

This is often a driver’s knee-jerk reaction when facing another vehicle head-on, and it may be the best option. If there is no shoulder or there are vehicles on either side, the resulting collision with objects or other vehicles may still be less dangerous than the oncoming vehicle. However, swerving could also cause accidents such as rollovers or put the vehicle in the path of other oncoming traffic.

Stop

If there is no vehicle following, simply slamming on the brakes may lessen the force of the impact considerably. The risk of a rear-end collision from a vehicle a ways back may still be preferable to the force of two vehicles colliding head-on at high speeds.

Prepare

Drivers and passengers can do many things to lessen the severity of a crash. For example, everyone should be wearing a properly positioned seat belt, headrests should be adjusted correctly, distractions should be removed and loose objects in the vehicle should be secured. If vehicle occupants see the collision coming, they can further mitigate the damages by bracing their muscles in preparation for the moment of impact.