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5 Different Types of Car Accidents

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5 Different Types of Car Accidents

There were nearly 400,000 motor vehicle accidents on Florida roads in 2022. These crashes resulted in more than 250,000 injuries and, tragically, more than 3,500 deaths. The different types of car accidents fall into one of the five categories below. Knowing how these wrecks happen could help you avoid one.

If you’re ever hurt in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, please don’t hesitate to contact the Jones Law Group online or call 727-571-1333. We’ll work hard to protect your rights and help you get every dollar you deserve.

1. Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accidents, accounting for 29% of all crashes on average. They occur when one vehicle collides into the back of another. Typically, one vehicle is stationary or moving slowly during the collision.

These accidents frequently occur due to various factors, including the following:

  • Distracted driving is where the driver’s attention is diverted from the road by texting, talking on the phone, or adjusting the radio. 
  • Sudden stops by the vehicle in front may happen because of traffic congestion or an unexpected obstacle. 
  • Tailgating, or following too closely, increases the risk of rear-end collisions, as does driving in slippery road conditions.

A rear-end crash can result in a range of injuries, with whiplash being common. Whiplash occurs when the head suddenly jerks forward and backward upon impact, straining the neck’s ligaments and muscles. Motorists and passengers may also experience head injuries, especially if they strike the steering wheel or dashboard. In severe accidents, they can experience debilitating spinal injuries.

Determining fault in rear-end collisions is often straightforward, as investigators typically consider the driver who rear-ended another vehicle at fault. However, disputes can arise if evidence suggests the driver of the front vehicle made a sudden, unexpected stop without reasonable cause. Insurance companies and legal proceedings may be needed to resolve disputes in such cases.

2. Side-Impact (T-Bone) Collisions

Side-impact collisions, or T-bone accidents, happen when one vehicle collides into the side of another, forming a “T” shape. These accidents can be hazardous due to the limited side impact protection.

These collisions often result from running red lights or stop signs, where one driver fails to yield the right-of-way. Failed yield attempts at intersections, particularly when drivers dispute who had the right-of-way, can lead to these accidents.

Injuries resulting from T-bone accidents can be severe. The impact often occurs directly at the occupant’s door, leading to head and chest injuries. Occupants may sustain pelvic fractures due to the side impact’s force, and internal injuries can result from the rapid deceleration and impact.

Many factors will determine fault in a side-impact crash. These include traffic signals, right-of-way rules, and the actions of the involved drivers. Attorneys often use eyewitness accounts, traffic camera footage, and accident reconstruction experts to assign blame.

3. Head-On Collisions

This devastating accident occurs when two vehicles collide front-to-front, with the fronts of both vehicles absorbing the impact.

They often result from wrong-way driving, where a driver enters a road against traffic flow. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is another common cause, as is loss of vehicle control, especially on slippery roads.

Head-on collisions typically lead to catastrophic injuries and tragedies. Nearly 6,000 people died in head-on crashes in the U.S. in 2021. Occupants may sustain severe head injuries from the force of the collision, including traumatic brain injuries. Broken bones and internal injuries are common, and fatalities are more likely due to the high forces involved.

Fault in head-on collisions is typically assigned to the driver who crosses into oncoming traffic. Legal consequences can be severe, including criminal charges in cases of impaired driving. Proving liability in these cases usually relies on evidence such as eyewitness accounts, skid marks, and accident reconstruction.

4. Vehicle Rollovers

Vehicle rollovers occur when a vehicle flips onto its side or roof. These accidents can be particularly dangerous due to the potential for ejection and rollover-induced injuries.

Rollovers can happen during sharp turns at high speeds, especially if the driver loses control of the vehicle. Tire blowouts, which can lead to sudden changes in vehicle stability, are another common cause. SUVs are more prone to rollovers due to their higher center of gravity.

Drivers and passengers are at risk of head and neck injuries, especially if the roof collapses. Crushed limbs can occur if the rollover compromises the vehicle’s structure. Fatalities are also possible due to the violent nature of the accident.

Rollover accidents may involve product liability issues if a defect in the vehicle’s design or stability contributed to the rollover. Establishing fault may require a thorough investigation into the circumstances leading up to the accident.

5. Multi-Vehicle Pile-Ups

Multi-vehicle pile-ups involve three or more vehicles colliding in a chaotic chain reaction, often in a high-traffic area or due to poor visibility.

These accidents can occur due to various factors, including poor visibility in heavy thunderstorms, slippery roads, and chain reactions triggered by other collisions. One initial collision can set off a domino effect as other vehicles become involved.

Injuries in pile-ups can vary widely due to the chaotic nature of the accident. Some occupants may sustain minor injuries, while others may experience severe injuries depending on the force of the impacts and the number of vehicles involved.

Determining fault in multi-vehicle pile-ups can be complex, as multiple parties may share responsibility. Legal proceedings can involve numerous insurance claims, disputes, and expert testimony to reconstruct the sequence of events accurately.

How to Reduce Your Risk of a Car Accident

To reduce the risk of car accidents, drivers should keep the following in mind:

  • Practice defensive driving techniques: Defensive driving involves staying alert, maintaining a safe following distance, and anticipating the actions of other drivers. This proactive approach helps drivers respond effectively to potential hazards.
  • Prioritize vehicle maintenance: Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure that critical components such as brakes, tires, lights, and steering systems are in good working condition. Routine maintenance checks can help prevent accidents caused by mechanical failures.
  • Stay updated with weather and road conditions: Being aware of current weather conditions and road hazards is essential. Adjusting driving behavior to account for adverse weather conditions and avoiding driving during severe weather events whenever possible can reduce the risk of accidents.

Contact Jones Law Group if You’re Involved in a Car Accident in Florida

You’ll need skilled legal help if you suffer an injury in a car wreck caused by another driver’s negligence. The Jones Law Group is ready to provide that help. Please call 727-571-1333 or use our online form for a free case review.

Heath Murphy

About the Author

Heath Murphy is a partner at Jones Law Group and focuses on personal injury law. He has been working as a lawyer for 18 years and routinely writes about auto accidents, wrongful death, and personal injury laws.

Read more: Heath’s Bio