What Are the Different Types of Car Accidents?

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 3 minutes

What Are the Different Types of Car Accidents?

Auto accidents may result in injuries, damage to your vehicle, and even increased insurance rates. Accidents can happen in a variety of situations and sometimes it’s not possible to avoid them. However, it may be helpful to be aware of the most common types of car accidents in case you find yourself in a similar situation.

  • Read-end collisions tend to occur due to sudden slowing or braking. The car behind may be following too closely, accelerating too quickly, or simply not realize what’s happening in order to stop quickly. Injuries to the occupants of the impacted car tend to be worse, with whiplash being a common injury for all drivers and passengers. Fault is usually attributed to the car that rear-ends the front car due to not being within stopping distance, following too closely, or lack of attention.
  • Side-impact collisions aka T-bone collisions occur when the side of a vehicle is hit by the front or rear of another vehicle or object. While damages to the vehicle and injuries are more likely to be severe in this type of car crash, these factors vary based on the part of the vehicle that was struck, the vehicle’s safety features including airbags, and the speed of the both cars involved in the accident.
  • Sideswipe collisions happen when two cars that are parallel touch and “swipe” each other. If both vehicles are traveling in the same direction and neither driver loses control of the vehicle, the damage may only be cosmetic. On the other hand, if one driver loses control of the vehicle, there may be more serious injuries and damages.
  • Vehicle rollovers happen when a vehicle flips over and lands on its side or roof. These accidents are very dangerous and scary. Any type of vehicle can be involved in a rollover accident but SUVs and other vehicles with a high center of gravity are more prone to a rollover occurrence due to their height. Rollovers may be caused by sharp turns at a high speed. Serious injuries include spinal cord injuries and brain trauma.
  • Head-on collisions happen when the front of two vehicles that are facing each other collides. This type of car accident is often fatal.
  • Single car accidents do not involve multiple vehicles. In some cases, a car might strike another objects such as a pole, trees, fire hydrant, walls, or may involve a pedestrian. Single car accidents may result in property damage and personal injury.
  • Hit-and-run accidents occur when one driver leaves the scene of an accident. It may be difficult to identify the vehicle and driver if there were no witnesses or video footage of the accident.
  • Multi-vehicle pile-ups involve multiple cars. They usually occur on highways or freeways and are one of the deadliest kinds of car accidents. Being trapped inside or between crumpled vehicles makes it difficult or impossible to escape. Fire presents an additional threat because it can quickly spread to spilled fuel and cover the entire crash area. Determining the cause of these multi-vehicle collisions is often difficult.

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