What Are the Most Common Types of Car Accidents?


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By Crispin Bateman

on Friday 29 March 2019


Busy junction in London

When you get into your car at the beginning of the journey, you do not anticipate a crash – if you did, the chances are you wouldn’t get into the car in the first place.

Almost every single road traffic accident is a surprise to the people involved and this makes it extra difficult to deal with, as neither your mind nor your body has time to prepare.

Car accidents fly by in a blur of motion and fear, and at Non Fault Claims we are here to provide support for the mental and physical injuries that can occur as a consequence, as well as vehicle repairs and replacement vehicles.

We hope that understanding the different types of car accidents will help increase your awareness on the road and help to avoid any future collisions.

The most common types of car accidents

What is the number one cause of car accidents?

Where do the majority of common collisions occur?

I've been in a car crash that wasn't my fault - what to do

The most common types of car accidents

1 – The rear-end collision

By far, the rear-end collision is the most common car accident. Thankfully, it is also often one of the least severe types.

A rear-end collision occurs when one car drives into the back of another and is typically caused due to the second driver failing to provide enough room between them and the car in front to be able to properly react and stop or avoid the collision altogether.

Rear-end collisions can happen because:

  • The front car has to suddenly decelerate, or emergency stop, and not enough gap has been given between cars for the rear car to stop in time.

  • The rear car is ‘tailgating’ – pushing close to the front car in order to put pressure on the driver to increase speed or move out of the way. This causes a deliberately small distance between vehicles and often results in an accident.

  • The front car has pulled in-front unexpectedly from another lane, side street or driveway, and not enough care was given by the driver to provide enough room for oncoming traffic.

  • The rear car is a stationary vehicle (parked) and is reversed into.

Many rear-end collisions are the fault of the rear car driver who has failed to sensibly leave adequate distance. This is especially common during poor driving conditions such as rain or snow, where the rear driver hasn’t adjusted his stopping distances accordingly.

If you have been ‘rear-ended’ and had an accident that was not your fault, then we are here to help you at Non Fault Claims. Rear-end collisions often result in more injuries that are often labelled minor, such as whiplash, but an injury does not have to be major to make a claim for compensation. If you or any of your passengers have suffered, then we can get you the financial recompense you deserve.

2 – The side-impact collision

Having someone drive into you in the side of your vehicle can be particularly frightening, especially if you were stationary at the time. Side-impact collisions (commonly known as ‘t-bone’ collisions) can cause serious injury for both the driver and passengers, and can put those in the back of the car in as much risk as those in the front.

While it is seatbelts that provide the most protection in the case of a rear-end accident, it has been the development of side-impact airbags and reinforced car structures that save lives in side-impact collisions – always be sure that your vehicle has the latest safety measures installed and check these regularly.

Side-impact collisions typically happen at busy junctions, where one car approaches too fast, or a distracted driver crosses a red light by mistake. Thankfully, the majority of side-impact collisions are minor, with the impacting vehicle often in the process of braking and much of the speed of their car decreased in the seconds before impact.

Side-impact collisions can result in a range of damage, from minor scratches to bodywork, through to fatal impacts with crushed cars.

Determining fault with a side-impact collision is not always as simple as it may seem. While someone passing a traffic signal at a junction is a clear case of responsibility, many side-impact collisions occur because ‘he just came out of nowhere, crossing in-front of me’ or similar reasons. Always take care when driving to keep an eye on the hazard of driveways and side roads, especially in the mornings when people are leaving their houses on the way to work or dropping children off at school.

3 – The head-on collision

By far the most dangerous of all one-on-one collisions, the head-on collision is responsible for the highest level of fatalities.

When one vehicle meets another head-on, the impact force is considerable as it is increased by the speeds of both vehicles. While the physics are a little more complicated, it is simple to say that two vehicles travelling at 30mph each meeting head-on is like them both hitting a wall at 60mph.

Additionally, the heaviest part of the car is the engine, typically found in the front of the vehicle. A head-on collision sees these weighty parts of the car forced backwards into the cabin causing substantial damage.

The following are the main causes of head-on collisions:

  • Distracted driving – mobile phones, eating while driving and fiddling with in-car systems are all factors here.

  • Exhausted driving – staying on the road when you are too tired to concentrate puts your life and the lives of others at risk. Take a break, even if it will make you late for something important.

  • Failure to adapt to changing road conditions or weather – remember, driving in the snow requires greater concentration and a slower drive. Give yourself more time and spend a little extra in preparation.

  • Poor overtaking – if you cannot see for a significant distance ahead, overtaking is never worthwhile. Have patience and wait for an appropriate time to make a lane change.

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – not being at your full mental capacity when driving is a mistake, as well as being illegal.

  • Failure to respond to traffic signals – while somewhat rarer, it does happen and ignoring a red light can have devastating consequences.

The sight of a car coming towards you on the wrong side of the road is terrifying and can lead to long-term mental health issues. At Non Fault Claims we can make sure that you receive the proper counselling to ensure that you are not left with a lifetime of fear following your car accident.

4 – The multi-vehicle crash

Known as a pile-up, multi-vehicle crashes are unfortunately becoming more common and when they do occur, the results can be devastating for many families.

A multi-vehicle crash is most often on busier roads, with the worst incidents often occurring on motorways. With a huge amount of chaos, potentially multiple collisions from different vehicles and the environment and the added risk of fire or other factors, multi-vehicle crashes are difficult to investigate and understanding the sequence of events can take months to unravel.

At Non Fault Claims, we are specialists in making sure you get the financial recompense that you deserve if you have been in any type of road traffic accident. Contact us today if you have been involved in a multi-vehicle accident and we will get you the compensation you are entitled to.

5 – The sideswipe collision

A sideswipe occurs when the side of one vehicle scrapes the side of another. Thankfully, this type of accident typically only creates cosmetic damage to the cars and is less likely to involve a personal injury, though coming too close to another vehicle enough that the cars touch in this way can cause the other driver to lose control of their vehicle and cause a second accident that is more serious.

Sideswipe collisions are usually due to a lack of concentration or control on the part of one driver, coming too close to another car either while passing or hitting a parked car. They are the most common causes for damage to wing mirrors!

If your car was hit whilst parked, you may find yourself having to make a claim on your insurance and affecting your no claims bonus even though the incident was not your fault. Give us a call at Non Fault Claims to avoid this damage and increase to your premiums and see if we can help.

6 – The rollover

With their high centre of gravity, a rollover is usually a threat only for SUVs being driven beyond reasonable levels. Coming around a corner at an extreme speed can lead to the car tipping and ultimately landing on its head or rolling over.

The other cause of rollovers can be environmental, with large potholes a factor in many rollover cases.

If you have suffered from a rollover due to a poor environment, then you may be able to claim compensation from the Highways Agency or local council responsible for the road. Give us a call today!

What is the number one cause of car accidents?

As can be seen from the above, the primary cause of car accidents is distracted driving. It is a factor in all types of road accidents, from the devastation of a pile-up to the relatively minor complaint of someone reversing into a stationary car.

When looking at causes of road accidents, car safety experts repeatedly point to things like mobile phones and other distractions – read our article on 7 driving distractions to find out more.

Where do the majority of common collisions occur?

No matter the types of car crashes, most collisions occur within a short distance from your home. This is attributed to the sense of familiarity that drivers get once they enter an area they are particularly familiar with, leading them to relax a little too much and drive ‘on autopilot’. Statistically, the closer you are to your home or place of work, the more likely you are to be involved in a road traffic accident.

Stay alert – don’t let the comfort of your home turf cause an accident!

I’ve been in a car crash that was not my fault – what should I do?

If you are a victim of a non-fault accident, then we are here to help. At Non Fault Claims we can make sure you get the best advice and a team of expert lawyers on a No Win No Fee basis to see your compensation claim through to completion.

Unlike going through your insurance company, by choosing Non Fault Claims we can give you a level of service that includes a like-for-like replacement car, help in getting top-quality medical treatment for injuries and professional counselling to help with any psychological trauma.

Give us a call today or fill in our contact form if you have any questions regarding your road traffic accident and how to be properly compensated for your suffering.

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