Most Frequent Types of Traffic Accidents and Their Causes

The open road offers freedom and mobility, but it carries inherent risks. Traffic accidents, unfortunately, are a grim reality, happening almost constantly in every corner of the nation. By some estimates, there were more than 6.3 million automobile crashes in the U.S. in 2023, which averages to more than 17,000 per day. The chances of getting into an accident are thus very high. By understanding the common types of accidents and their causes, you can make more informed and safer choices behind the wheel.

The following are among the most frequent auto accidents and their causes:

  • Rear-end collisions — These mishaps account for nearly 30 percent of all accidents. They typically involve a tailgating driver slamming into the car ahead, which may have slowed or stopped due to traffic or sudden obstacles. 

  • Side-impact collisions — Also known as T-bone crashes, these often occur at intersections when one car fails to yield the right-of-way or to obey traffic signals. Distracted driving and driving while fatigued or impaired are frequent causes. 

  • Head-on collisions — These crashes, often stemming from wrong-way driving or lane violations, can be fatal. Even momentary lapses in judgment, like crossing a median, can have catastrophic consequences. 

  • Single vehicle accidents — These crashes happen in diverse scenarios, from slippery roads to mechanical failures to drivers’ errors.  A car can hit a median, guardrail or other obstruction or can go off the road and into surface ditches or embankments.

  • Multi-vehicle pile-ups — These domino effects, often triggered by sudden braking or poor visibility, usually occur when vehicles do not maintain adequate following distances. They are more likely happen during poor weather conditions.

  • Vehicle rollovers — These crashes typically result from losing control at high speeds or on uneven terrain. Top-heavy vehicles are more prone to rollovers, and so are trucks and vans with improperly loaded cargo. 

  • Truck accidents — Large commercial vehicles are heavier than passenger cars. This leads to significant size and weight disparities, which can result in severe injuries or fatalities when cars and trucks collide. In addition, these vehicles have wider turning radiuses and need longer stopping distances, which also heightens the risk of crashes.

  • Hit and run accidents — Drivers who leave the scene after causing a collision not only cause damage and possible injury but also leave victims without assistance.  Often, the fleeing driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs or has panicked in fear of arrest.

People injured in accidents need to take immediate steps to get medical examination and treatment. They also need to preserve their legal right to recover monetary compensation from insurance and from drivers who are at fault. With support from an experienced auto accident lawyer, you can obtain reimbursement for the medical costs and other damages you incur.

At Brown, Novick & McKinley Attorneys at Law in Woodbury, we strive to help our clients obtain fair settlements or verdicts in automobile injury cases. To schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified lawyers, call 866-942-4909 or contact us online.