What Are The Most Common Types Of Motor Vehicle Accidents?

What Are The Most Common Types Of Motor Vehicle Accidents

All it takes is a second or two for someone to get into a severe car accident. These accidents happen for many reasons, the most common ones outlined in this post. If another party hits your vehicle, you might be entitled to damages in a personal injury lawsuit. After receiving medical attention for your injuries, your next call should be to an experienced Bakersfield car accident attorney. The attorney can review the accident and determine if you can seek compensation.

The Most Common Types Of Car Accidents

Thousands of people suffer injuries or die in auto accidents in the United States annually. The NHTSA states the following on types of car accidents:

  • 35 percent of those killed and injured in accidents were in passenger vehicles.
  • 27 percent were in light trucks.
  • 20 percent were pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-vehicle occupants.
  • 14 percent were motorcyclists.
  • Four percent were drivers or passengers in commercial trucks or buses.

The following types of accidents are the most common in the US:

T-Bone Crashes

Type of Motor Vehicle Accident I T-Bone Accident

This type of accident is also called a side-impact accident. It involves the front of one car slamming into the side of another. Many T-bone accidents are caused by people not yielding at a stoplight or red light. But low-speed T-bone accidents also happen in parking lots.

T-bone accidents can cause serious and fatal injuries when they happen at high speed. If you’re hit in a T-bone accident, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Hit-And-Run Crashes

Drivers who hit other vehicles may flee the accident scene to avoid being sued or arrested. Many hit-and-run drivers are intoxicated or have warrants. A hit-and-run claim or lawsuit has challenges, but it’s possible to receive compensation in many cases. An attorney or the police may track down the responsible driver. A skilled attorney can also file a claim with your uninsured or underinsured driver insurance to receive compensation for your medical bills and lost income.

Multi-Vehicle Crashes

Types of Motor Vehicle Accident I Multi Vehicle Crash

Car accidents involving more than two vehicles often happen on highways and interstates. Determining fault in a multi-vehicle crash can be complicated, so you should immediately retain an experienced lawyer. There may only be limited insurance money available, so you will need your attorney to fight for the most for your injuries and other losses quickly.

Sideswipe Accidents

A sideswipe accident happens when two cars are going in the same direction and glance off of each other. If neither party loses control, this accident may only cause vehicle damage. However, the startling nature of a sideswipe accident can cause one or both to lose control and lead to a severe crash.

Road Construction Crashes

Construction zones are often confusing and congested, and accidents happen often. Some drivers ignore signs and construction barrels or speed, leading to severe accidents.

Rear-End Crashes

A rear-end crash means the front of a vehicle hits the other from behind. The rear driver is usually at fault, and these accidents are often due to distracted driving or intoxication. If the driver hits the other from behind at a high enough speed, the resulting accident can be severe or fatal. Unfortunately, some high-speed rear-end crashes rupture the fuel tank, and passengers can die due to fire.

Rollover Accidents

A rollover accident may happen when a driver turns the vehicle too quickly to avoid something on the road. Many of these accidents only involve one vehicle, so filing a claim or lawsuit is unlikely. However, taking legal action is possible if the driver swerves the vehicle to avoid another driver’s actions.

Head-On Crashes

Types of Motor Vehicle Accident I Head-On Crashes

Head-on collisions happen when one vehicle’s front end slams into another. This type of accident often happens when a driver goes the wrong way on an interstate or a drunk or distracted driver crosses into oncoming traffic on a rural road or highway.

Head-on collisions happen less frequently than others on this list. However, they are usually the most severe; two vehicles going in opposite directions and slamming into each other double the force of the impact. So, two cars going 60 MPH into each other have a combined impact speed of 120 MPH. Most people in head-on crashes suffer severe or fatal injuries.

What Causes Car Accidents?

We understand the most common car accidents, but what causes them? Most auto accidents are avoidable and due to human error, including:

Distracted Driving

In an era of cell phones and other personal electronic devices, distracted driving has turned into a major cause of auto accidents. Distracted driving can be texting, talking on a cell phone, surfing the Internet, as well as eating, drinking, or checking the GPS. If drivers avoided distractions, they might also avoid many accidents.


Speed limits are in place for a reason: to prevent severe and fatal accidents. If you go just a few miles per hour over the limit, you can take longer to stop in an emergency and cause an accident.

Sadly, speeding is a common cause of severe and fatal car accidents. A driver exceeding the speed limit puts others at risk of injury. Before considering speeding, remember that this is illegal and a top cause of fatal car accidents.

Driving Under The Influence

Drunk or drugged driving is a common cause of auto accidents, although there are fewer today than decades ago. However, driving under the influence is still a problem. If a drunk driver hits and injures you, you can seek both compensatory and punitive damages.

Bad Weather

Types of Motor Vehicle Accident I Bad Weather

Rain, snow, fog, ice, and snow also cause many accidents because of reduced traction and visibility. Many weather-related accidents are avoidable by slowing down as soon as conditions worsen. Or, stop driving as soon as bad weather hits to avoid accidents.

Unsafe Lane Changes

It isn’t unsafe to change lanes, but it is if you don’t look and check blind spots. Always check your mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes. Many new vehicles have accident avoidance technology that checks your blind spots for you. This development leads to fewer accidents, but you should always check blind spots yourself.

Fatigued Driving

Research shows that driving when fatigued is just as hazardous as driving under the influence. Being too tired when driving can damage your judgment and may even lead to falling asleep behind the wheel. Avoid serious car accidents by getting adequate rest before driving long distances.

Running Red Lights And Stop Signs

Like driving under the influence, running red lights and stop signs are obvious car accident causes. If you blow through a red light or stop sign, there is a good chance of an accident. Being in a hurry or distracted isn’t an excuse. These accidents often stem from drivers being distracted by a cell phone. Reduce the chances of being in this type of accident by shutting off your phone when you drive.


People want to get where they are going quickly, but there may be a slower driver ahead, leading to tailgating. Driving too close won’t make the other driver go faster and increase the chances of a serious rear-end accident.

Common Car Accident Injuries

Car accident injuries can range from minor to fatal, depending on the type of accident, speed, and other factors. You should go to the doctor after any type of car accident, even if you think you’re unhurt. You may not feel pain initially from the accident, but you can have severe injuries and be unaware of them for hours:

Traumatic Brain Injury

One of the worst car accident injuries is a traumatic brain injury. These are usually closed-head injuries that can be anything from a minor concussion to a severe brain injury.

The violent impact of a car accident can make the brain move and strike the front, back, or sides of the inside of the skull. This can lead to bruising and bleeding, even if there appears to be no injury from the outside. If you were in a car accident and think you hit your head, you should seek an evaluation from a medical professional immediately. If the injury is untreated, it can result in severe or fatal outcomes.

Neck Injuries

Neck injuries are also common in serious car accidents. You can have strains, sprains, pinched nerves, and bulging or herniated spinal discs. Strains and sprains happen when neck muscles are torn or stretched during the collision, called whiplash.

Pinched nerves result from nerves irritated by a herniated disc or bone spur. This injury can cause skin numbness, muscle weakness, and pain where the nerve goes.

Herniated discs occur when the neck’s movement in the accident puts excessive pressure on a disc. This injury might be called a ruptured or slipped disc, and the pain can be severe.

Back Injuries

Types of Motor Vehicle Accident I Back Injuries

A back injury after a car accident can be easy to dismiss, but you shouldn’t. The human body isn’t designed to take impacts in car accidents, and even a low-speed accident can seriously injure the back.

The human back has many muscles, vertebrae, discs, and the spinal cord. A car accident injury in the upper back is often the most severe and can cause nerve damage. The lower back mostly consists of muscles that can sustain injuries in an accident. While many lower back injuries in car accidents aren’t as severe as some, they can be painful and take months to heal. But there also can be herniated discs in the lower back that may require surgery.

The most severe back injuries happen to the spinal cord. A spinal cord injury can cause nerve damage or paralysis that costs hundreds of thousands or millions to treat. Anyone with a spinal cord injury will need long-term medical care.

Car accident back injuries can range in severity. Many are relatively minor, and medication and physical therapy may be sufficient. However, a doctor should always see you promptly to evaluate back pain after a car crash.

Facial Injuries

Serious auto accidents can cause facial injuries, such as broken bones, eye trauma, bruising, bleeding, or scarring. Facial injuries may be obvious after the crash, but not always. If your face is seriously injured, you can seek compensation for scarring, disfigurement, and mental anguish.

Broken Ribs

Rib injuries are common in auto accidents. These bones can be bruised or broken, and the injury is immensely painful. Broken ribs usually heal without treatment, but they also can puncture organs or blood vessels. The injury takes a long time to heal and may feel like chest pain immediately after the crash.

Heart Attack

Car accidents are stressful and can cause a heart attack. However, you may not notice a serious cardiac problem immediately after the accident. This is why you should always have a doctor check you after a serious car accident. You can have a life-threatening injury or medical condition, such as a heart attack. Waiting for treatment can be fatal.


Serious motor vehicle crashes often break bones in the arms, legs, hands, feet, wrists, or ankles. Some broken bones may appear immediately, but others can manifest. Always have a doctor look you over for fractures and other injuries.


Severe car accidents can lead to the amputation or crushing of a limb, such as the arm or leg. If you lose a limb in an accident, you will need immediate medical attention. It also is a life-changing injury, and you should receive ample compensation in a lawsuit.

Organ Injuries

Organ damage can happen because of blood loss, blunt force trauma, or puncture wounds. Organs that commonly sustain injuries in car accidents are the liver, spleen, and small intestines. Organ damage can develop into internal bleeding and other complications.


Some injuries from car accidents are psychological and not physical. The accident can leave terrible emotional scars and even PTSD. Some car accident victims are so traumatized by the accident that they relive the incident daily. Many cannot drive for months or years or even be in a car. If you suffer psychological harm from a car accident, your attorney can work with your medical team to get you the compensation you deserve.

Speak To A Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney Today

Mickey Fine

Car Accident Attorney, Mickey Fine

Being injured in a motor vehicle accident is a serious matter. Suddenly, you have serious injuries that prevent you from working and enjoying life. When another person injures you in an auto accident, you can hold them accountable legally. With the help of a car accident attorney, you can receive compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. Get started on your case today by speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Car Accident
by Mickey Fine Law
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