Did you know that over 38,000 people die in car crashes across the United States every year? In addition, 4.4 million people require medical attention after a serious injury related to auto accidents.

Cars continue to be the most popular form of transportation nationwide. With roads busier than ever, it’s no wonder there are a number of different types of car accidents you’ll want to avoid.

The severity of an accident depends on the type of impact, driver, and vehicle. This means that there’s a range of causes, rules, and auto accident lawyers to consider based on where an accident takes place.

While you can’t always avoid a car accident, it’s important to stay informed and understand what situations you may face on the open road. Keep reading to learn more about the different types and common causes of car accidents.

Head-On Collisions

Head-On Collisions

While not the most common type of accident, head-on collisions are usually the most dangerous and deadly. Head-on collisions magnify impact because the front end of one car collides into the front of another vehicle.

The most common causes of this type of accident include driving while impaired, tired, or distracted. In addition, speeding, reckless driving, and medical emergencies (like a seizure or heart attack) can also cause head-on collisions.

The injuries are usually severe and can cause broken bones, brain injuries, and spinal cord damage.

Rear-End Collisions

By far the most common type of accident, rear-end collisions are usually caused by negligence or carelessness. This impact is caused when the rear driver strikes the back bumper of another vehicle. These accidents can range from a fender-bender to a serious crash that can total a car.

Rear-end collisions usually take place when drivers are distracted or are participating in dangerous activities like tailgating. When there’s not an adequate amount of space between cars, the rear driver usually lacks reaction time to brake and avoid a collision.

In most cases, the rear driver is going to be at fault—although there are exceptions.

Just like the scope of damages caused by rear-end collisions, injuries can range from minor to deadly. Neck and spinal cord injuries from rear impact collisions are the most common.

Side-Impact Collisions

Also known as T-bone accidents, side-impact collisions take place when a moving vehicle strikes another car at a perpendicular angle. The two cars usually form a “T” in this type of auto accident.

This type of accident usually happens at intersections or parking lots when one driver fails to yield or obey traffic signs properly. Since there is less mass along the sides of cars, the vehicle that’s struck along the side usually suffers the most damage. Passengers located along the unprotected side of the car have the highest potential for injury.

Aggressive, distracted, or impaired driving is usually the cause of this type of crash.

Single-Vehicle Accidents

Despite only involving one car, single-vehicle accidents are relatively common. These crashes are usually caused by the driver striking something on the road. This includes animals, debris, or dropped cargo.

These accidents usually occur when the driver attempts to veer around something in the road or tries to avoid a reckless driver. By quickly veering, they can strike obstacles like a guardrail or pole and even end up in a ditch or rolling over.

Rollover accidents are more likely to cause serious injury. The sheer force of being flipped or ejected from the vehicle can have a catastrophic impact on the body. In addition, there is the possibility of fires or explosions from spilled fuel or cargo igniting.

Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Multi-Vehicle Accidents

These types of crashes usually occur on busy freeways or crowded highways. It’s usually a chain reaction caused by an initial rear-collision.

Severe weather conditions and icy roads are popular causes of these deadly types of accidents. For example, a jackknifed semi-truck caused a 40 car pile-up in Michigan in January 2022. This took place on a major state highway that’s accustomed to dealing with winter weather.

When three or more cars are involved in a multi-vehicle accident, the results can be extremely dangerous. In addition to more people being injured, it’s also very challenging to determine who is at fault for insurance purposes.

When it comes to navigating a multi-vehicle crash, it’s a good idea to have a car accident attorney on your side, like those at https://liptonlaw.com/michigan-car-accident-lawyer/.

Other Types of Car Accidents To Avoid

Most vehicle impacts will be head-on, rear-end, or side-impact. Within each of those categories, there is added nuance to be aware of.

Other common car accidents include:

  • Hit-and run—where at fault drivers flee the scene to avoid consequences for actions like driving intoxicated or driving without a license
  • Sideswipe—when two cars going in the same direction swipe each other or a car grazes a bike or pedestrian after failing to check a blind spot
  • Low-speed—since the angle of impact usually matters more than the impact speed, substantial damage can be generated by a 5,000+ pound SUV travelling at a low speed
  • Merging—since merging takes place at higher speeds, cutting into a crowded land of traffic can result in serious injuries

The most deadly type of car accident occurs when a vehicle comes into contact with a pedestrian, motorcycle, or bike. In the United States, a pedestrian is killed by a vehicle about every 88 minutes.

Why Causes of Car Accidents Matter

Fatal Car Accidents

While accidents all result in some type of damage or injury, types of car accidents are distinguished by where the impact occurs and how many vehicles are involved. The angle of impact and the speed of the crash is usually going to determine the seriousness of injuries.

Whether you drive a car daily or are a frequent passenger, it’s important to understand the dangers and consequences of sharing the road with others.

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