Most Common Types of Car Accidents

May 1st • 5 min read

Car accidents occur in many different forms, and all of them have the ability to be completely devastating to those involved. Based on how cars are designed, combined with the design of roads and traffic patterns, leads to certain forms of vehicular impacts being more common than others.

In this article, we will discuss the most common types of car accidents, including:

  • Single Vehicle Accidents
  • Head-On Collisions
  • Rear-End Impacts
  • Side Impact Crashes (T-Bone)
  • Vehicle Rollover Accidents

Common Car Accident Types

Single Vehicle Accidents

The simplest type of accident is the single vehicle accident, as it only involves one car. Common causes of single vehicle accidents are:

  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving while distracted
  • Intentionally swerving to avoid an object/animal/person
  • Vehicular malfunction

Damage and injuries as a result of a single vehicle crash hinge on several factors, including the vehicle’s speed and the object that the car ultimately crashes into. For example, the odds of injury are much lower if your car slowly crashes into a bush, versus traveling at speed into a brick wall.

The best ways to avoid single vehicle accidents are to always remain focused on the road, don’t drive while intoxicated, and be sure to take good care of your vehicle and perform all scheduled maintenance, as a car that is well maintained is less likely break on the road in a way that makes it impossible to control (like broken brakes, broken axles, or broken steering wheel).

single car accident

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions have the potential to be among the most catastrophic of all accident types, as the nature of the impact can not only crush victims, but also cause driver/passenger ejections through the windshield.

head on collision

Head-on collisions are less common than some other accident types (accounting for approximately 2% of all accidents, but 10% of all fatalities), and are predominantly caused by negligent driving including:

  • Distracted driving
  • Excessive speed
  • Reckless driving
  • Swerving into oncoming traffic to avoid an object/animal/person

Rear-End Impacts

Approximately 1.7 million rear-end accidents occur in the United States every year. Out of these nearly 2 million crashes, roughly 1,700 people lose their life and another 500,000 are hurt. These numbers account for a large percentage of highway accidents, injuries, and deaths.

While driver negligence (intoxication, distraction, aggressive driving etc.) is still a major factor in rear-end impacts, certain rear-end collisions cannot be avoided easily, like when the driver in front of you slams on their brakes and you do not have the time to break quickly enough to avoid them. Driving a safe distance behind the car in front of you is the best way to avoid an accident of this nature; however, it is not a full-proof method.

rear-end accident

When a vehicle hits you from behind, this jarring impact can easily cause injuries to the neck and back, including the most common rear-end accident injury-- whiplash, a neck injury which occurs when the head suddenly moves backward and then forward. Whiplash can cause pain, tingling, and numbness throughout the neck, back, and extremities, and can greatly impact quality of life.

Side Impact Crashes/T-Bone

Based on statistics gathered by the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration, around 8,000 people are killed each year in the USA in side impact collisions. More than 50 percent of all car crash fatalities involve a T-bone style collision.

side impact collision

A broadside blow is more deadly than a head-on crash or rear-impact crash, because there is less protection to the body. In front and rear end accidents, a large portion of your vehicle stands between you and the impacting vehicle, but in a side impact crash, the only thing protecting you is the car door.

Side impact accidents are most common at busy intersections, when a negligent driver runs through a red light.

Vehicle Rollover Accidents

Vehicle rollovers are dangerous events that have a higher death rate than other types of accidents. In 2010, including the almost 9.1 million passenger car, SUV, pickup and van crashes, only 2.1% involved a vehicle rollover.

Despite the low overall number of rollovers, they still managed to account for nearly 35% of all fatalities from passenger vehicle crashes. In 2010 alone, more than 7,600 people died in rollover accidents. In 69% of these fatal crashes, the victims were not wearing seat belts.

Rollover accidents are most common among light trucks and SUVs which have higher centers of gravity, thus making them more likely to flip during a high speed collision. Cars that are closer to the road have a lower center of gravity, and are much harder to rollover (though it’s still possible).

Auto Accident Doctor Near You

If you or a loved one has been injured in any of the auto accident types discussed above, there are skilled accident physicians in your area who can help you on your journey to recovery. The Top Injury Doctors injury doctor directory can easily provide you with the best accident doctor near you.

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