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The Common Types of Car Accidents: A Simple Guide

Car Accident

During the first half of 2020, motor vehicle crashes led to an estimated 16,650 fatalities. This projection showed a 2% decrease in fatal motor vehicle collisions back in 2019. However, the actual fatality rate based on vehicle miles traveled was higher than in 2019.

Do note that while not all road crashes end in deaths, they still cause more than 1.5 million injuries each year.

With that said, you may be wondering which types of car accidents are the most and least severe. We'll give you a brief rundown below, as well as how to avoid them, so be sure to read on.

Vehicle Crash Type With the Most Fatalities

Single-vehicle crashes accounted for 53% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2018. These include collisions with fixed objects, such as poles, posts, bridges, and embankments. They also include accidents with pedestrians and animals.

Most rollover crashes involve single vehicles, too, with 95% of them caused by "tripping." Tripping can occur when a vehicle's tires hit an object that affects its forward movement. This can then force the vehicle to roll sideways or forward.

Rollovers are deadly because they can propel the vehicle’s occupants out of the vehicle. These accidents can also force the roof of the car to cave in and trap the people inside.

Deadliest Types of Car Accidents With Other Vehicles

Multi-vehicle car accidents are the second-leading cause of traffic fatalities each year. These crashes include angle, head-on, rear-end, and sideswipe collisions. Of these car accident types, angle collisions result in the highest number of deaths.

For instance, in 2018, angle collisions claimed the lives of 7,400 people in the US. That represents 44.6% of all multi-vehicle-related fatalities that year.

Head-on collisions are also deadly, having caused 4,900 deaths in 2018. There were also 3,000 fatal rear-enders and 1,300 deaths from sideswipe crashes.

Traffic Collisions That Cause the Most Car Accident Injuries

Rear-end collisions cause the most number of non-fatal injuries and property damage. According to NHTSA, rear-enders in 2018 resulted in at least 594,000 non-fatal injuries. That's more than 31% of all non-fatal injuries that year.

Angle collisions are second-most injurious, causing 515,000 non-fatal crashes that year. This dropped to 129,000 for sideswipe crashes and 80,000 for head-on collisions.

Keep in mind that even a seemingly-minor rear-end collision can cause whiplash injuries. Such neck trauma can develop at speeds as slow as five miles per hour. Despite that, some whiplash cases can take up to or even more than three months to completely recover.

Reducing Your Risks of Getting in a Car Accident

Never go behind the wheel, even if you've only had a couple of alcoholic drinks. Alcohol-impaired driving results in over 10,000 lost lives each year.

Crash deaths and injuries also result from speeding, which usually goes hand in hand with DUI. Distracted driving and drowsy driving also get implicated in many motor vehicle accidents.

So, drive only when you're fit to, such as if you've had enough sleep the night before. Don't read or send text messages, either, as these can be deadly driving distractions.

Drive Responsibly to Minimize Your Crash Risks

Not all types of car accidents result in fatalities. However, most motor vehicle crashes cause injuries and property damages. That should be enough reason for you to practice safe and responsible driving habits.

Looking for more health and safety guides like this? Please feel free to check out our dozens of other blog categories then!

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