Head-on collisions should never happen, and there is a high chance that they’ll be fatal when they do. The combined speed of two vehicles colliding is incredible. In some cases, these accidents happen on interstate highways, when a driver gets on going the wrong direction. In other cases, they happen on two-way roads when a driver, perhaps distracted by a cellphone, drifts into the oncoming lanes.

So, what should you do if you see a car coming toward you? Here are five steps that may help you avoid the wreck:

  1. Reduce speed as much as possible, in a safe and controlled manner, by taking your foot off of the gas and hitting the brakes.
  2. Use your horn and flashing headlights to signal the other driver; a distracted driver may not realize he or she is in the wrong lane.
  3. Turn your car to the right. Do not swerve to the left, which would put you in oncoming traffic on a two-lane road. Plus, if the other driver corrects but you swerved left, you will still crash.
  4. Drive onto the shoulder. Look for a clear escape route.
  5. If you have to, leave the road entirely and drive into the ditch. You may damage your car, but you are less likely to get injured going into the ditch than if you slam into the oncoming car.

If you do get involved in an accident, it can lead to high medical bills, lost wages and many other costs. Make sure you understand all of the legal options you have to seek out financial compensation.