Car accident. Five Types Of Auto Accidents.Car 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, call one of our St. Louis car accident lawyers. If you simply want to better educate yourself to improve your driving, situational awareness, and general highway safety, you will find the following information useful about these five types of car collisions and the common injuries resulting from them.

Type of Collision Associated Injuries Common Causes
Rear-End Collisions Whiplash, head trauma, back injuries, leg and chest injuries Most common, often preventable, caused by distracted driving
Side-Impact Collisions Head injuries, chest trauma, broken bones Increased by 20% over 20 years, often due to running red lights
Parking Lot Crashes Minor soft-tissue injuries, whiplash, broken bones Common in parking lots, liability can be challenging to determine
Single Vehicle Crashes Major injuries, death, head injuries, chest trauma Often caused by driver error, preventable, influenced by speed and distractions
Head-On Collisions Serious injury, death Rare but highly dangerous, often caused by confusion or impaired driving

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 results 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.

Around 87 percent of them involved drivers that were not paying attention, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. Rear-end collisions, while the most common, are also the most preventable. Modern technology such as cellular phones and a wide array of in-vehicle electronic and entertainment systems are major contributors to distracted driving

Usually, 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, 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 is if you are driving through an intersection and someone runs a red light, or 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 the vehicle. Other common injuries associated with T-bone collisions include chest trauma, and 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.

Aerial view of car parking.

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 it can be hard to prove who is at fault. They are the king of the “he said, she said” style of the 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 lug nuts and they strip, causing a tire to come off, an airbag going off without warning, etc. If any event such as those transpires, 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.

Car Collision Case Study: A Rear-End Accident

In a rear-end collision case, a driver who had stopped to assist at an accident scene was injured, leading to a $250,000 settlement with three defendants. The individual halted to help on the highway, and as they were aiding the person still in the vehicle, their vehicle was rear-ended by another. The chain of events began with an attempt to pass another vehicle, which resulted in a rear-end collision. This incident led to the injured party obtaining settlements from the parties involved. A lawsuit was filed against the designated driver that day for negligently stopping their vehicle in traffic lanes, which contributed to the case. Ultimately, the case centered on a simple negligence theory based on the stopping position of the vehicle. The insurers for the parties involved contributed to the $250,000 settlements.

Check out the full case study here.

Have You Been Injured? Call Cantor Injury Law

Contact Cantor Injury law today, at (314) 628-9999 to speak with a personal injury attorney about your car accident. Explain what type of the five types of car collisions you had and we can help.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Car Accidents and Their Causes

1. What is the most common type of car collision, and what are its causes?

The most common type of collision is a Rear-End Collision. These accidents typically occur when one vehicle crashes into the rear of another. Causes often involve tailgating, inattention, or driving too fast for the conditions. Distracted driving, often due to cell phones and in-vehicle entertainment systems, plays a significant role in these accidents.

2. What are the various types of fatal accidents, and what are their common causes?

Fatal car accidents can take several forms, including Rear-End Collisions, Side-Impact Collisions (T-bone), Parking Lot Crashes, Single-Vehicle Crashes, and Head-On Collisions. The common causes of fatalities include factors like inattention, excessive speed, driving under the influence, and poor visibility. Each type of accident has its own set of dangers and injury patterns.

3. What are the two main types of accidents, and how are they distinguished?

The two primary types of car collisions are single-vehicle crashes and multi-vehicle crashes. Single-vehicle accidents typically result from driver errors, such as distractions or impaired driving. In multi-vehicle accidents, more than one vehicle is involved, and liability may vary based on the specific circumstances.

4. Is tapping a bumper considered an accident, and how does it relate to fender benders and serious accidents?

Yes, even a minor bumper tap is considered an accident. These are often referred to as fender benders. Fender benders involve minor damage and typically result in no or minor injuries. Serious accidents, on the other hand, can lead to severe injuries or fatalities. The extent of the impact and resulting injuries differentiates these categories.

Contact us at (314) 628-9999 to schedule a free consultation with our team.