Auto accidents happen all the time, however, there are many types of accidents that can occur, and everyone’s situation is slightly different. If you have been in an accident, or if you simply want to better educate yourself to improve your driving, situational awareness, and about general highway safety, you will find the following information useful about these five types of car crashes and common injuries resulting from them.
1. Rear-End Collisions
Rear-end collisions are incredibly common. In America alone, there are about 1.7 million rear-end collisions each year, and 1,700 of those result in fatalities, according to the Washington Post. About 500,000 result in injuries. These types of accidents are common during merging or changing lanes, in heavy traffic, and at intersections with traffic signals or stop signs. Approximately 87 percent of them involve drivers that were not paying attention according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. The rear-end collision, while the most common, is also the most preventable. Modern technology such as cellular phones and a wide array of in-vehicle electronic and entertainment systems are a major contributor to distracted driving
In most cases, the driver who rear-ends the vehicle in front of it is held responsible because it is typically assumed that they were either tailgating, not paying attention, or driving too fast for the conditions. However, the other driver may be held responsible if they suddenly stepped on their brakes, they reversed, or they suddenly changed lanes without warning. One of the most common injuries associated with rear-end collisions is whiplash, which occurs after the head is forcibly whipped forward and then backward causing difficult to diagnose damage to parts of the spine. However, a powerful rear-end collision can cause serious head trauma and back injuries as well as leg and chest injuries if you are forced forward into the steering wheel or dashboard.
2. Side-Impact Collisions
Side-impact collisions, or T-bone collisions, happen when one car hits the side of another. The most common way these crashes can happen if you are driving through an intersection and someone runs a red light, stop sign, or fails to yield resulting in them crashing into you. Thanks to more cars and higher speeds, side-impact collisions have increased by 20 percent over the past 20 years. High impact T-bone collisions can cause serious injuries or even death depending on where the vehicle is struck.
A common injury associated with a side-impact collision is a head injury. Head injuries can happen if you hit your head against something, but your brain can get damaged if it hits the wall of your skull too hard. These are common because the force of a side impact collision will generally cause the driver or passenger to be thrown about vehicle. Other common injuries associated with T-bone collisions include chest trauma, broken ribs, arm, hip, knee, leg, and ankle injuries. A side-impact collision is extremely serious and leaves nearly the entire body vulnerable.
3. Parking Lot Crashes
Parking lots have a lot of cars trying to navigate small spaces, and even though the speed limit is much lower, accidents still happen. Someone may be racing you to a parking spot, driving too fast, or backing out and not paying attention.
Parking lot accidents usually result in minor soft-tissue injuries because they are at such low speeds, but depending on the type of accident, you can still get whiplash or broken bones.
Liability can be difficult at times in a parking lot crash as at times they can be hard to prove who is at fault. They are the king of the “he said, she said” style of incident. For example, if you and someone else started pulling out of a parking lot at about the same time, it may be hard to determine who was first and had the right of way.
4. Single Vehicle Crashes
At first, single vehicle crashes may seem like the least dangerous, but they often result in major injuries or even death, sometimes to multiple occupants. They commonly occur at higher speeds, increasing the likelihood of major damage and serious injury. When only one car is involved in the accident, it is most often caused by driver error. The driver may have been looking at their phone and not realized they were drifting toward a post, off the shoulder, over the center line, or did not notice an animal or debris in the roadway. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is another major cause of single-vehicle accidents. Most single-vehicle accidents are preventable and are a major reason people should not drive distracted or under the influence.
In most cases, the driver is responsible for single vehicle crashes, however, in some instances something else may have caused the accident. Perhaps you were paying attention and following the rules of the road, but a defective tire suddenly blew, a mechanic overtightened the lugs nuts and they strip causing a tire to come off, an airbag goes off without warning, etc. If any event such as those transpire, the manufacturer or another third party may be held responsible for your crash.
5. Head-On Collisions
Head-on collisions are some of the most deadly and dangerous accidents on the road, especially if cars are driving at high speeds. These types of accidents can often result in serious injury or death to occupants of both vehicles involved in the accident. Thankfully, they are rare. only about 2 percent of crashes in America are head-on collisions. Despite their rarity, they still account for over 10 percent of all driving-related fatalities.
Head-on collisions are less common because someone has to be driving in the wrong lane, which isn’t common. They may happen if people are confused on an unfamiliar roadway, cannot see well, the weather conditions make visibility poor, or if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Some people may also drift into the other lane if they are driving distracted or take a curve too fast, crossing the center line.