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Maryland Workers' Compensation Attorneys > Blog > Personal Injury > Fatal Head-On Collision In Gaithersburg

Fatal Head-On Collision In Gaithersburg


A tragic head-on collision in Gaithersburg earlier this week left one motorist dead. The accident took place at the intersection of Maryland Route 117/Clopper Road and Orchard Hills Drive just before 6:00 a.m. on Sunday. According to reports, 29-year-old Emil William Cosbert, of Germantown, was driving west on Clopper Road in his 2018 Chevrolet Malibu when he crossed the centerline and entered the Orchard Hills Drive lane of traffic, which was traveling in the opposite direction. He then hit a 2018 Nissan Sentra, driven by 27-year-old Juliette Marie Simon of Cheltenham, head on. Officers stated that it is unknown why Cosbert veered into oncoming traffic. The impact of the collision killed Cosbert and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Simon was also said to have traumatic injuries and was transported to a hospital. Her injuries are not said to be life-threatening. A firefighter responding to the accident also suffered non-life-threatening injuries as a result. The aftermath of the scene is jarring, with both cars looking nearly half-collapsed.

Understanding Head-On Collisions

One important thing to understand about head-on collisions is that they rarely occur in the absence of negligence. While it certainly can happen due to circumstances outside of your control–for instance, icy roadways can cause head-on collisions, as can high-impact accidents that propel your car across a median and into oncoming traffic–most of the time, distracted driving or driving under the influence is a major contributing factor to these accidents. However, this fact is not meant to make any assumptions about the cause of the accident cited above, merely about head-on collisions in general. While it can be hard to comprehend how such a catastrophic accident can occur, all it really takes is a few seconds of distracted driving. Drivers often accidentally veer into other lanes while texting or trying to calm or pass a toy to a child in the backseat. It really is a very small margin for error, particularly on multi-lane highways and complex intersections. Driving intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs (legal or prescription) can make drivers disoriented and confused as to which direction to travel and can often have tragic and fatal consequences. It’s so important to be present, coherent, and aware of your surroundings while driving. Always check in with yourself when you get behind to wheel to make sure your mind is in the right place.

Why Head-On Collisions Are So Deadly

Head-on collisions only account for a small percentage of overall traffic accidents, however, they account for one of the largest numbers of traffic fatalities. This is because a head-on collision essentially doubles the force of impact. In a normal accident, for instance, if Car A is traveling 75 miles per hour when it rear-ends Car B, who is stopped, Car A will hit Car B at a force of 75 miles per hour. To give you an idea of how this affects the driver and passengers, the impact on the human body is essentially the same as driving into a brick wall at a speed of 75 miles per hour. However, if Car A is traveling at 75 miles per hour in one direction and Car B is traveling at 75 miles per hour in the opposite direction and they collide, they have just impacted at a force of 150 miles per hour. Now, the impact has been doubled, causing each driver to impact a brick-wall-equivalent at a force of 150 miles per hour. This dramatically increases the risk of fatalities, particularly for the driver and front-seat passenger, as the damage to the front of the car can be catastrophic. Additionally, size disparities between the vehicle can further add to the danger of these accidents, sometimes shearing off the top of one vehicle, or forcing one vehicle beneath another.

Talk to a Maryland Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured or even killed in a Maryland car accident, the experienced Maryland personal injury attorneys at Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP, serving Baltimore, Gaithersburg, Frederick, and surrounding areas, are ready to zealously advocate on your behalf and help get you the compensation and support you need to start recovering from your injuries and move on with your life. Call today to schedule your free consultation.



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