A car accident resulting in injury or death can happen in an instant. For any motorist, understanding where potential dangers are coming from can be instrumental in preventing accidents. If you’ve been in injured in a car accident understanding what actually happened and what went wrong is the first step toward seeking redress for the consequences of a crash.
The Most Common Types of Car Collisions
Rear-impact collisions are the most prevalent type of auto accident, accounting for almost a third of crashes on U.S. roadways according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. Blame generally falls to the driver of the rear car for failing to follow at a safe distance or to break quickly enough to avoid the accident. Back injuries and whiplash are common medical consequences in rear-impact collisions.
Side-impact accidents are only slightly less common than rear end crashes. Side-impact crashes include everything from serious “t-bone” type crashes to simple sideswipes at low speeds. Neck and lower back injuries are often associated with side impact collisions.
Runoff accidents involve a vehicle careening off the road. Sometimes, driver distraction is to blame, but in many instances, the vehicle operator swerved to avoid an obstacle in the road or another auto. Guard railings help prevent injuries and property damage from runoffs, and local or state governments are typically responsible for placing guardrails at high-risk locations. About 16 percent of accidents are runoffs.
Less Common But Not Less Dangerous
Head-on collisions and rollovers each account for only around 2 percent of annual U.S. car accidents, but often have a bigger potential for causing serious injury or death.
Head-on collisions occur when a car directly strikes the front end of another vehicle or a stationary object. These accidents can be extremely destructive: at higher speeds, the vehicles involved are usually mangled beyond recognition, and severe head injuries are just one of the serious traumas that commonly stem from head-on crashes.
Rollovers can happen in any type of vehicle, but are most common in SUVs. A rollover entails a vehicle flipping onto its side or roof and may occur as a result of some other type of crash or from maneuvering too sharply at high speeds. While only around a quarter of automobile deaths overall occur during rollover, almost two thirds of SUV deaths happen in rollovers.
Understanding Your Options After a Crash
Not all types of accidents fit neatly into one category or uniformly involve the same calculations of fault for injuries. If you have been involved in a car accident, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your individual circumstances.