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10 Different Types of Car Accidents

Side-view of a black car damaged in an accident.

Studies suggest that most car accidents occur within the first 5 miles from the drivers’ place of origin whether that is their home or workplace. The truth, however, is there is no formula or prediction system that can define when and where you can get into an accident. They can come at any time and in any form.

Road accidents, in particular, are an everyday occurrence, and they usually happen due to a driver’s negligence, speeding, and recklessness, or because of traffic gridlocks and mixed intersections.

Nevertheless, it is imperative to know about all the various types of car accidents that can occur while you are on the road so you know how best to avoid each one. Let’s have an in-depth look at them.

Related: When Should you Hire a Lawyer for a Car Accident

Single-Car AccidentAuthorities inspecting a single-car accident.

Usually, single car accidents are not the result of recklessness on the driver’s part, although it easily can be the case with run-off-road collisions. They can occur when a vehicle collides with poles, trees, fire hydrants, or walls. Defective or bad quality car parts can also result in single-vehicle accidents, as well as tires bursting or getting unscrewed from their axels.

These kinds of accidents result in property damage, personal injury, and can even end up harming pedestrians in some cases.

Sometimes single-car accidents are caused by drivers trying to avoid crashing into off-track pedestrians and small animals. This is why it is important to be careful and as well as aware while crossing the road on foot and to only use zebra crossings.

Rear-End Collision

Two men arguing over a rear-car accident.

Usually, when rear-end accidents occur, it is because the rear driver has misjudged the speed of the vehicle in front of him or her, or was distracted by something else in their view. A rear-end collision becomes a commonplace on fog-covered roads or at construction sites where the dust flying everywhere obscures the road ahead. Many such accidents occur back-to-back if visibility is too low, leading to a domino effect.

Because of the presence of a bumper, mild rear-enders often do not end up being too damaging to people but it is also true that it can result in injuries to the back and neck, whiplash and other muscle pains.

Source: Herman and Herman

Side-Impact Collision

Side-impact accident

Side-impact collisions are those in which the side of one vehicle is hit by the front or rear part of another, forming a “T”, giving this kind of accident another name: the T-bone collision.

Such a crash frequently causes both vehicles to deviate from their original directions of movement. If the collision is too impactful, the struck vehicle may spin or roll over, potentially risking the safety of other vehicles and pedestrians on the road while also causing injuries to passengers.

Side impact collisions are often caused by one vehicle not giving way to another in time. In the case of intersection collisions, the reason for the accident is one driver’s failure to comply with traffic signals, for example running a red light.

Understandably, if the cars are speeding, it may raise chances of the crash becoming severe.

Source: Injury Attorneys

Head on CollisionImpact of a head-on collision to a car

Also known as an intersection crash, this is the most dangerous kind of collision caused by two cars colliding directly head-on. It can often result in fatalities and the complete destruction of vehicles, with serious burns and injuries to be expected at the very least. U.S. traffic statistics show that even though head-on crashes made up only 2.0% of all accidents, they led to 10.1% of all fatal accidents

Often, head-on collisions happen late at night especially when the drivers are inebriated or under the influence of drugs. The best way to avoid them is being aware of traffic signs, following traffic rules, being wary of street conditions, keeping your car in a single lane, and being especially careful at intersections.

Source: Terry Bryant

RolloverOff-road rollover

In a rollover accident, a vehicle flips a complete 180 degrees or falls over onto its side. These types of accidents have the highest fatality rate than all other kinds of vehicle collisions.

There are two types of vehicle rollovers that can occur: tripped and untripped. Tripped rollovers are caused when an external object acts on the car, such as hitting a curb or a colliding with another automobile. Untripped crashes, on the other hand, are the result of wrong steering input from the driver, speeding, and excessive friction between tire and ground.

The most common reason for vehicles to turn over is their tires striking a curb or digging into soft ground as the car is sliding sideways. A similar situation can arise when there is a sudden increase in lateral force.

A vehicle may also roll over for other reasons, such as hitting its wheels on a big obstruction maneuvering over bumpy terrain.

In an exciting but dangerous racing game, a driver intentionally drives one side of their vehicle onto a ramp, causing their vehicle to flip over. The driver with the most rolls wins the game.

Side-SwipeSide-swiped bumper

These types of collisions can result in significant damage despite the minimal impact. If sideswiped, a vehicle can change direction forcefully; causing it to run off the road or into another vehicle’s way causing even more damage. In some cases, a careless tractor driver can force a smaller vehicle off the road even in a small impact collision.

Source: Musleh Law Firm

Hit and Run

Car drives away after hitting a pedestrian

Hit and runs are unfortunately fairly common events. As the name suggests, a hit and run refers to a kind of road incidence where a pedestrian or another vehicle is hit by a passing car but the driver does not stop to check up on the damage caused.

Causing an accident and then running away from it is a crime, and drivers should take responsibility for their actions instead of being unethical and inhumane by escaping the scene.

The definitions and punishments for hit and run cases vary from state to state in the United States. In Virginia for example, the crime is a felony if the accident results in death, injury, or damage to any property that is worth a certain amount of money. Otherwise, it is only counted as a misdemeanor. The state of California labels the crime as an infraction, a misdemeanor, or a felony based on what kind of damage has occurred, and whether property damage or bodily injury has taken place.


Phantom Car Accident

A red car post collision

The phantom car accident is not caused by some non-human entity, yet the driver is absent from the scene of carnage. It is a type of accident that statistically causes a vast number of serious injuries and deaths every year.

Much like a hit and run, the driver of the offending vehicle is absent after committing the crime. The only difference is that the driver’s car does not actually make contact with you or your vehicle. Instead, the rash driving causes you to swerve from your lane or leave it completely, and that is where the actual destruction and violence takes place. A phantom car crash can lead to a vehicle striking a pole or wall, a fence, a curb tree or another vehicle.

Phantom drivers may or may not know about your injury. They might have caused it by accident or knew but did not stop to take responsibility. Most times phantom drivers, like their namesakes, zoom away and disappear without any proof of existence.

Source: HJC Law

Off-Road Accident

Off road accident

Instead of taking place on the road while driving, these types of accidents occur in parking lots, ramps, private areas, or even on off-road tracks. They are caused either by the driver being conflicted about the right of way to turn or losing direction for any reason.

Moreover, they can also represent cases where a vehicle has been damaged because of external factors such as a heavy-object falling on it or being struck by natural disasters such as heavy hail and earthquakes.

Source: Musleh Law Firm

Multi-Vehicle Pile-UpsMultiple-car accident

In very low-visibility conditions, multiple vehicle accidents can occur when the drivers do not pay special attention to the changing conditions of the road. If they are driving too close to the vehicle in front and accidentally rear-end the car ahead, a long line of resulting accidents can occur, which in some cases can lead to a scary scene of destruction on freeways.

Even in good visibility conditions, chain-reaction crashes can occur, when drivers turn a curve or crest, encountering black ice or other road hazards unexpectedly.

A third vehicle that is driving too close to the initial collision is also likely to become a secondary part of the carnage.  Because of high vehicle velocities on highways, if one car suddenly stops due to a mechanical problem, those behind the malfunctioning are not able to stop in time and may end up crashing into it.

It is difficult for investigators to discover the exact causes of such accidents and not much research has been done on the subject despite their occurrence being so common in the US.

Source: Braun’s Law

Car accidents are a part of driving any vehicle on the road and they will happen no matter how careful you are. But at times they can be extremely dangerous, cause damage and even be fatal. Not only do accidents cause damage to vehicles and injuries to drivers, passengers, and passers-by, they may even lead to severe mental trauma, even resulting in PTSD in very severe cases.

Make sure to use road safety measures and always wear your seat belt to safeguard yourself as much as possible while driving, and look out for the signs on the road!

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