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The Different Types of Car Accidents: A Complete Guide

With over 1.35 million people getting into a fatal car accident every year, you need to be prepared for them in the event that one happens. One of the biggest misconceptions about auto accidents is that they’re all treated the same, only to find out this is actually false. You’ll need to determine who was at fault, what caused the accident, and the type of car accident that occurred.

Here is everything you need to know about the different types of car accidents and what you need to do after one occurs.

Head-On Accidents

Head-on collisions are one of the most common car accidents and make up the majority of all car accident deaths. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 57% of all car accident deaths in 2019 were from head-on accidents.

One of the main reasons this happens is from the sudden stoppage of the vehicles. Rather than other accidents where the speed may gradually slow or you’re already at a stop, head-on collisions mean that both people are moving in opposite directions toward each other. They will come to a sudden stop upon collision.

This results in a transfer of energy to the people inside and causing you to slam into the vehicle itself as if you were slammed into the wall.

How to Avoid Head-On Collisions

If you see someone coming at you head-on, try your best to swerve to the right. While this may still result in an accident, you’re likely to sustain much less damage to your vehicle and yourself.

Rollover Accidents

Rollover accidents occur when a car makes sudden changes and the vehicle continues to try to move in the direction you were originally heading in. Rollovers happen more often to trucks and SUVs as they tend to be more top-heavy.

How to Avoid Rollover Accidents

Always fasten your seatbelt as this will prevent ejection from the vehicle. Keep both hands on the steering wheel and make sure you’re focused on the road. Rollovers tend to happen fast, but the more aware of your surroundings, the more time you have to react.

Pileup Accidents

Pileups mean there are multiple vehicles involved, typically on a highway. These common types of car accidents will happen where this is low visibility and a change of surface on the road. This may be from ice or rain.

How to Prevent Pileups

Pileups aren’t always avoidable and they often involve multiple different types of car accidents. Whereas you might deal with a T-Bone, others might deal with sideswiped and rollovers.

When conditions get bad and there is low visibility, make sure that your lights are on and you’re slowing down. Driving fast may not give you enough reaction time to avoid the accident.

You can read these tips to avoid car accidents in the rain provided to you by Kemp, Ruge, & Green.

T-Bone Accidents

With T-Bone accidents, you’ll find yourself in a predicament where the other car hits the drive side of your vehicle. This occurs from distracted driving and the other car runs a red light, stop sign, or tries to turn without enough clearance.

How to Avoid T-Bone Accidents

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to avoid someone from T-Boning you. Try to always be aware of your surroundings and wear your seatbelt at all times.

To avoid causing a T-Bone accident, never text and drive and pay attention to roadway signs. Even navigation systems tend to tell you when lights and stop signs are ahead, so even if you need directions, it can wait till you’re safely away from the light.

Sideswipe Accidents

Sideswipe accidents are extremely common and often occur when one or both cars in two different lanes try to merge into another lane or drift into the other lane on accident. These accidents may only cause scratching and minor bumps. But traveling at high speeds may cause you to spin out which may increase the damage to your vehicle.

How to Avoid Sideswipe Accidents

To avoid someone hitting you from a sideswipe, always check to see if someone’s blinker is on to get over. You might have sped up and they no longer had enough clearance to get over. Give them enough room to get over by either slowing down or getting into another lane.

If you notice them drifting into your lane without their blinker, use your horn to alert them. Sometimes drivers go into a “car hypnosis” where they’re alert but not fully aware of their surroundings. This can help snap them out of it.

Avoid getting in a vehicle’s blind spot as well. Many cars are offering blind spot assistance as a way to combat this, but not all of them. Never sit side-by-side a semi-truck for long for this reason.

How to Avoid Causing a Sideswipe Accident

To avoid causing a sideswipe accident yourself, you’ll want to utilize blind spot assistance if your vehicle as it. This either alerts that someone is in the blind spot or may even pull the wheel away, depending on the car you own.

Regular maintenance on your vehicle will help prevent drifting by wheel alignments. When merging into another lane, always check the other lane as you do so. Even if it was cleared when you checked, that may still change in the two seconds it took you to start merging.

Single Car Accidents

If you experience a single-car accident, don’t automatically assume that it’s your fault. Mother Nature has a funny way of putting items in our way when we least expect them. You may have needed to avoid an animal or maybe a big tree branch fell off and landed while you’re driving, causing you to swerve and hit something.

Whatever happens, try your best to remember as you’ll need to explain to your insurance company. Without explanation, your insurance company may not cover your accident. This may come easier if you have a dashcam on the front or even the back of the car.

How to Avoid Single Car Accidents

Avoiding single-car accidents isn’t something we can always do. If there are terrible weather conditions in your area, slow down and keep your eye’s peeled. Use your high beams to help increase your visibility if you find yourself driving down a dark road.

There may be times where you simply need to take the hit of something that fell into the road. In these instances, the car will take the impact and while you may only have a dent, you’re still likely to turn out better than swerving and crashing into a ditch or tree.

Pedestrian Accidents

With pedestrian accidents, a vehicle hit someone who wasn’t on a motor vehicle of sorts. This mainly occurs at intersections and often doesn’t end well for the pedestrian involved.

What happens is the car may have not seen a pedestrian walking through the pedestrian and continued on through the light anyways. Even in instances where the pedestrian was jaywalking, they still get the right away and aren’t normally responsible in the event that they get hit.

How to Avoid Pedestrian Accidents

Pay attention to intersections in residential and commercial areas, as these are heavily crowded areas with a lot of people walking around. Speeding in these areas isn’t worth it, as it could change your life and someone else’s forever.

No-Fault Accidents

In some states like Florida and New York, there are systems referred to as “no-fault”. No-fault systems work by alleviating the stress of who was at fault in the accident. You may still get a ticket, but your insurance company must pay your medical bill and lost wages, regardless of whether you caused the accident or not.

What to Do If You’ve Been in a Car Accident

If any of these accidents occur, the first thing you need to do is to call emergency services if anyone looks or feels injured. After that, you need to immediately contact a car accident lawyer before you start negotiating with the insurance company.

Hiring a car accident lawyer ensures that you don’t swindle out of the compensation that you deserve. They’ll handle the legal paperwork while you focus on recovering from your injuries. The sooner you start letting the lawyer do the work, the less stress you’ll find yourself dealing with down the road.

While insurance companies are there to help pay your bills, they’re still out to make money and will do everything possible to give the bare minimum.

The Different Types of Car Accidents: Key Takeaways

Now that you know the different types of car accidents, you know what to look out for on each and how to avoid them. Remember, not all car accidents are avoidable. So it’s better to know what to do in the event that one occurs rather than hoping for the best.

If you want to learn more about the legal processes that follow after a car accident, check out the rest of the blog. Know someone that could use an accident refresher? Share this article with them to give them a reminder.

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