The Most Common Types of Car Accidents

Categories: Car Accidents

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Have you been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault? Here we investigate the most common types of collisions and how to pursue a claim.

It is estimated that around 6 million car crashes occur every year in the U.S., and approximately 3 million people are injured in car accidents. Unfortunately, car accidents can occur at any place and at any time. From busy roads to parking lots, traffic collisions can take place when you least expect it.

Car accidents may be caused by negligence, unsafe driving, speeding, and traffic. Furthermore, there are many types of car accidents, each which tend to cause their own level of impact, damage, and injury.

While there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of being involved in a car accident, such as staying focused and being aware of traffic conditions, accidents are sometimes unavoidable. If you have been involved in a traffic accident and feel that it was caused by another driver’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation.

At Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers, we are experienced in dealing with a variety of traffic collision cases and claims. Below, we take a look at the most common collision types in more detail, and what you should do if you have been involved in a car accident.

Common Collision Types

Car accidents can be broken down into different categories, depending on the circumstances of the incident. After a car accident has taken place, the legal process can be confusing for those involved, so we think it’s important that drivers know the difference between each type of crash.

Certain types of car accidents are also more likely to cause particular kinds of injury. We can help you with injury and/or damage caused by a range of types of car accidents. These include:

Head-on Collisions

This type of traffic collision occurs when vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide head-on. These kinds of crashes are highly dangerous and can often be fatal. This is because they tend to happen at high speeds, when the safety features of the car cannot absorb enough impact to fully protect those in the vehicle.

Head-on collisions are frequently caused by wrong-way drivers, which can be a consequence of under the influence driving due to alcohol or drugs. Head-on collisions can also take place without the presence of another vehicle, occurring when a driver collides head-on with animals or fixed objects.

Side-impact Collisions

Side-impact collisions, also referred to as T-bone collisions, occur when a vehicle drives into the side of another. The impact is therefore usually perpendicular. This kind of collision often results in severe vehicle damage, and those seated on the impacted side of the car or vehicle are likely to suffer worse injuries than those they might sustain in a different kind of crash.

Were you or a loved one injured in an accident?

The law offices of Brian D. Guralnick help Florida residents and tourists seek compensation and Demand More? for their injuries.

A common cause of side-impact collisions is the at-fault driver running a red light at a junction. This can result in a collision with another driver that is going through the intersection rightfully after a green light signal. If you have been affected by a side-impact collision such as this, contact Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers immediately.

Rear-end Collisions

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, rear-end collisions are the most common car accidents on roads in the U.S. A rear-end collision is where one vehicle crashes directly into the vehicle driving in front of it. There are many causes of this collision type:

  • Tailgating, or when a car follows the one in front too closely, is often the cause of rear-end collisions.
  • Traffic slowing or stopping unexpectedly can cause rear-end collisions. It’s possible for drivers to not realize that the car in front has already stopped for traffic lights.
  • If a driver is tired or distracted, they can miss these cues and go into the back of the car ahead of them.
  • Wet and icy weather can also cause rear-end collisions, as drivers often misjudge their stopping time in adverse conditions.

To reduce the risk of this type of accident, drivers are advised to change lanes if they are being tailgated, as well as stay alert of unsafe weather and traffic conditions.

Single-car Accidents 

Single-car accidents are a common collision type. They take place when one vehicle is damaged without the influence of another vehicle. This can happen if a driver crashes into an object such as a tree, wall, or street sign.

Single-car accidents can involve injury to the driver as well as pedestrians – particularly if the accident takes place in a pedestrian area. However, the most common issue resulting from single-car accidents is the damage caused to other private property. If your property has been damaged due to a single-car accident, it’s wise to determine whether you are entitled to compensation.

Vehicle Rollover

A vehicle rollover is when a car flips onto its side or roof. This can be caused by force from an object, such as another vehicle or even a curb when hit at high speed. Vehicle rollovers can also be caused with no external force acting on the vehicle, and this is usually down to steering, ground friction, and speed. While this can happen to any car, cars such as SUVs, which have a high center of gravity, are more prone to rollovers.

These are highly dangerous and can result in serious injury to the driver and any passengers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that around 85% percent of fatalities caused by car rollovers are from single-car accidents.

Multi-vehicle Collisions

Multi-vehicle collisions involve a crash between three or more vehicles. They are most likely to happen on busy highways and freeways. The danger of these crashes comes from the fact that there may be numerous points of impact for any one vehicle. Also known as ‘pile-ups’, multi-vehicle collisions can be hard to avoid, as they have a knock-on effect for road users. Due to the nature of these crashes, it can be difficult to determine who was at fault.

Sideswipe Collisions

Side-swipe collisions are often less dangerous (and less severe in terms of damage) than other types of crashes. This kind of accident happens when two parallel cars come into contact. This is usually only for a very short period of time, and damage is generally minimal. More serious damage and harm can be caused if one of the drivers involved in a sideswipe loses control of their vehicle as a result of the contact.

Merging Crashes

Like sideswipe collisions, crashes while merging happen when two or more lanes of traffic merge into one lane, and one car swipes another during the change. This type of accident is usually caused because the merging driver neglects to check their blindspot before moving lanes.


Research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that the rate of hit-and-run traffic crashes are increasing in the U.S. Hit-and-run collisions occur when one driver abandons the crash site after an accident. They might immediately drive away, or refuse to give contact details.

People often leave the scene of a car accident if they are not insured. This can make it extremely difficult to identify the missing party, and thus frequently takes place when the missing driver is at fault.

If you have been the victim of hit-and-run, you may be feeling angry and frustrated. For cases in the Palm Beach County area, get in touch with Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers to see how we could help.

How Can a Lawyer Help?

Car accidents can leave you with both physical and emotional damage. You may be affected by the costs of time off work, medical bills, and damage to your vehicle.

Many people receive lower compensation when they try to manage their own car accident claim. Furthermore, it is important that you know your legal rights when you have been injured in a car accident, particularly if you have reason to believe that the crash was caused by another driver’s negligence. With the help of a lawyer, you may be able to pursue compensation.

At Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers, we have many years of experience dealing with traffic collisions. We know how to research and investigate crashes to build a case. Our team of lawyers will be able to tell you if you have a claim worth pursuing, and discuss with you the next steps.


Who Should I Contact?

If you have been injured in a Palm Beach County car accident, I encourage you to contact me, Brian D. Guralnick, personally to discuss your legal rights. To learn how the injury team at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers can help you Demand More® for your injuries, call 561-202-6673 now.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. If you need advice on specific legal issues, please consult with a licensed Personal Injury attorney. 


Brian D. Guralnick

About the Author: Brian D. Guralnick

Brian D. Guralnick has been successfully representing injured accident victims in Florida since 1993. He has been voted “Best of the Best” personal injury lawyer by the Palm Beach Post for multiple years. If you have been injured in any type of accident, please call Brian and his team 24/7 at 561-202-6673.