It Can Happen Anywhere: Do You Know the Difference Between These 5 Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents?


Unfortunately, there is no such thing as being 100% safe behind the wheel. Cars can get caught in accidents when they are stationary in traffic or parked up in a car park just as easily as they can on the highway, residential side roads, or inner-city boulevards.

However, not all of these accidents inflict the same amount of damage on the car and its driver. Most accidents are so minor, nobody needs to file a personal injury claim. But for those types of accidents that result in significant bodily or mental trauma, a car accident lawyer can help you recover the medical costs and receive the compensation you are entitled to.

These are the five most common types of motor vehicle accidents that car accident lawyers deal with on a daily basis.

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are some of the most common accidents that take place on America’s roads. They are usually caused at a junction, when the car in front doesn’t pull out and the driver behind mistakenly believes it has.

The speeds are often slow, but that doesn’t mean they don’t cause injury. Rear-end collisions often incur whiplash in the occupants of the impacted vehicle, even when the accident occurs at slow speeds.

The driver of the vehicle in the rear is almost always at fault in rear-end collisions. They should have been driving at an appropriate distance behind so that they could bring their vehicle to a complete stop without hitting the car in front.

Side-Impact Collisions

Side-impact collisions, caused by a vehicle making contact with another vehicle’s side, were responsible for 27% of all passenger deaths in 2009. When they occur, they are incredibly dangerous, with the vehicle’s passenger rather than the driver often sustaining the worst injuries.


Vehicle rollovers are often destructive and often cause extensive damage to the vehicle and devastating injuries to the vehicle’s occupants. Unlike many other accidents on this list, often rollovers are the result of environmental factors, not other drivers.

The NHTSA estimated that 85% of vehicle rollover fatalities were single-vehicle accidents. Speed, the weather, the road conditions, alcohol consumption, and the vehicle condition all play a significant role in rollover accidents.

Head-on Collisions

As the name suggests, head-on collision occur when two vehicles travelling in the opposite directions collide. Given the force and speeds involved in these collisions, head-on collisions are often some of the most violent and dangerous accidents on the nation’s road. Fatalities and life-altering injuries are common.

Crashing While Merging (Sideswipes)

When two lanes merge together, or one vehicle attempts to change lanes, accidents can often occur when one party collides with the side of another vehicle.

These accidents usually occur because one party has failed to adequately check its blind spots and did not see the car travelling in the adjacent lane. Accidents while merging lanes are also some of the most avoidable accidents. A simple turn of the head to check the vehicle’s blind spots would help prevent these accidents occurring, as would reducing the vehicle’s speed in areas where lanes are merging together.

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