The Most Common Types of Car Accidents

While there are an endless number of ways people manage to get themselves in accidents, most types of  car accidents fall into one of five categories. If you have been involved in a car accident the most important thing to do is get appropriate medical treatment right away. Even if you don’t immediately feel any pain, you should still make an appointment with your primary care doctor within 72 hours to get checked out. Here are the five most common types of car accidents.

Rear-End Collision

When one car runs into the car in front of it, this is called a rear-end collision. This is the most common types of car accident in the United States. Rear-end collisions can be anything from a small fender bender, to a high-speed crash. There can even be multi-car read end collisions where one car hits the car in front of it, which causes the second car to hit a third car. In extreme cases, these type of crashed can involve ten or more cars.

Typically the person who is driving the first car that runs into the second car is at fault for these types of accidents, but every situation is different. Rear-end collisions most often happen at an intersection where one car is stopped for a red light or a stop sign.

With more people driving while distracted by their smart phones, these kinds of accidents are increasing.

Side Swipe

When two cars are facing the same direction and one car runs into the side of another car, and then pulls away, this is known as a sideswipe. The second car is often parked or stopped at a traffic light. But, these types of accidents also happen when both cars are moving and a driver is making a lane change and doesn’t see the other car.

Just like rear end-collisions the driver making the initial contact is usually the driver at fault, but each accident is unique.


This type of accident occurs when one car runs directly into the side of another car, forming, and the cars end up looking like a letter “T”. These types of accidents are often the result of someone running a red light, or failing to stop at a stop sign.

T-bone types of car accidents often have a higher injury rate than rear-end collisions or sideswipes because the difference in speed between the cars is often greater, and the cars are both moving in different directions at the time of impact, causing more twisting on the bodies of the passengers. This type of accident also often causes one or both of the cars to roll over.

Head-On Collision

This type of accident happens when two cars crash directly into one another. This is typically the most deadly type of car accident. These accidents are caused by any number of causes, including drunk or distracted drivers, poor road conditions, confused drivers, or drivers swerving, while trying to avoid a sudden obstacle.

Because most often both cars are traveling at high rates of speed and are moving in opposite direction, the force of these impacts is horrific.

Single Car Accident

Not all car accidents directly involve another vehicle. The most famous type of single car accidents are the ones where a car unexpectedly accelerates or fails to stop and the car runs into pedestrians, poles, or even buildings. Drunk or distracted drivers often are involved in single car accidents where they drive their car into a tree, a sign, or a building.

Sometimes road hazards are to blame, with slick roads causing a car to lose traction and spin out, or debris falls into the path of a driver, who has to swerve to avoid hitting something and ends up in a single car accident.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident, don’t wait to get help. Click here to find a qualified personal injury lawyer in your area.

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