Which Types of Car Accidents Are Most Common?
Car accidents are an everyday occurrence across the U.S., but there are a few types that are the most common.
Rear-end accidents are some of the most frequently occurring types of collisions. They happen when a vehicle is struck from behind by the front of another vehicle. Rear-end accidents can vary from minor “fender benders” to severe crashes and are responsible for hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. These collisions are most devastating when the at-fault party is driving at high speed or faster than the vehicle they collide into. Common causes of rear-end accidents include following too closely, driving distracted, driving recklessly (e.g., speeding or weaving through traffic), and weather conditions that impair visibility.
Single Vehicle Accidents
Single-vehicle accidents occur when a driver loses control of their vehicle and runs off the road, spins out of control, skids due to ice, hits a stationary object, and many other situations. They often happen due to overcorrecting a small mistake, braking too hard, driving while fatigued, intoxicated, in dangerous weather, or distracted.
A T-bone accident, also known as a side-impact crash, occurs when one vehicle hits another in a perpendicular direction, creating what looks like the letter “T.” These collisions are often extremely violent and can be caused by either driver. However, the motorist who did not have the right of way will always be at fault. Common reasons why T-bone accidents occur are when a driver runs a red light or stop sign or fails to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic.
Collisions or sideswipes while merging are one of the top causes of highway accidents. They often occur when a motorist is entering a highway too fast or too slow, a driver changes lanes without signaling, fails to check their blind spots, crosses through multiple lanes of traffic, or cuts off another vehicle while merging.
Low-speed accidents are not the worst type of collision, but they happen often, especially in stop-and-go traffic, parking lots, and residential areas. However, even a low-speed accident can generate enough force to cause severe injuries, especially if a pedestrian is involved. Factors other than speed influence the potential for injuries, such as the size and weight of the vehicles, the location of impact, the victim’s seat back height and angle, head restraint location, and road conditions.
Tips to Prevent a Car Accident
Most car accidents are preventable because they are caused by human error or negligence. Here are some tips to help increase your chances of avoiding a collision:
- Limit distractions by putting your cell phone on silent or do not disturb, and give the road 100% of your attention.
- Scan the area and check blind spots. Practice defensive driving and always be aware of where other vehicles are so you can anticipate their movements.
- Limit nighttime driving. Even if you have good eyesight, there is a higher risk of a collision.
- Never assume that a driver will stop or turn when they are supposed to. For example, look both ways before entering an intersection when the light turns green.
Accidents can still happen no matter how cautious you are, but paying attention and thinking ahead can help you stay safe.