What Are the Most Common Types of Vehicle Accidents?

With human error, mechanical failure, and environmental factors contributing to their causes, car accidents are a sad fact of life in modern society. A driver can become more alert by learning more about common car accidents and their causes. If you are injured on the road due to another person’s negligence, a car accident attorney in Tysons Corner can lead you in the right direction.

Rear-End Collisions

A rear-end collision occurs when a vehicle crashes into the back of another vehicle. These are some of the most common types of car accidents that occur at traffic lights or stop signs when traffic is heavy.


What Are the Most Common Types of Vehicle Accidents
  • Following too closely – When a driver tailgates, it becomes difficult for them to stop their vehicle in time to avoid a collision with the car in front of them.
  • Distracted driving—Activities like eating while driving, texting, or adjusting a radio divert attention from the road ahead, making distracted driving a major problem.
  • Speeding – When a motorist travels at a high speed, it reduces the reaction time for stopping safely. 

A car may also run into the back of you because the driver was going too fast for the road conditions or the posted limit.

Weather conditions—Rain, snow, or foggy weather may reduce visibility and increase the regular stopping distance required under normal circumstances.

Whiplash – A Common Injury

If you’re hit from behind, you can suffer whiplash and other serious injuries. Often, whiplash doesn’t appear until several days after a car accident. That is why getting treated medically is important and contacting a vehicle accident lawyer about filing a claim.

In most rear-end collisions, it’s usually the other driver’s fault if you’re hit from behind. Therefore, you can talk to a vehicle accident lawyer about suing for negligence.

Side-Impact Collisions

When your vehicle’s side is struck by the front or rear of another vehicle, it’s known as a sideswipe or side-impact collision. Also known as a t-bone crash, this collision frequently occurs when two vehicles come into contact when going in the same direction. When another vehicle does not change lanes properly, a side-impact collision may occur.

  • Speeding—Accident statistics show that many accidents happen because the driver ignores the posted speed limit, especially when changing lanes. If the road is in poor condition, this can also cause a car to veer into the side of another auto.
  • Unsafe lane changes without checking – Drivers who fail to check properly before changing lanes may collide with another vehicle traveling in the adjacent lane;
  • Failing to see objects in blind spots prior to executing a lane change can lead to sideswiping accidents between cars moving side-by-side at different speeds.
  • Distracted driving – Texting while driving may also cause a motorist to keel off-center and hit another car.

Why Side Impact Collisions are So Serious

Side-impact collisions lead to some of the most serious injuries on the roadway.


Side-impact vehicle accidents may lead to  personal injury claims that involve:

Side-Impact Collisions
  • Spinal cord injuries – The sudden jolt of the accident can damage the spine, discs, vertebrae, ligaments, and spinal cord.
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – When extreme force is applied, it can cause the brain to hit the side of the skull, thereby causing trauma and a cerebral injury.
  • Facial injuries – These injuries may occur when you’re hit head-on, from the rear, or at the side.
  • Whiplash – When your body shakes violently back and forth or side to side, it can damage your neck.
  • Fractures – Side impacts can lead to broken bones, bumps, bruises, and lacerations.
  • Internal bleeding – When you’re hit suddenly from the side, it can quickly lead to an aneurysm or bleeding problem, especially if your door is hit.
  • Skull fracture – A sideswipe exerts a great amount of force – enough to fracture the skull.

People who don’t use their signals when changing lanes, who don’t glance over their shoulder when making a lane change, or who do not properly use their mirrors can increase their chance of a side-impact crash.

Statistics show that drivers of passenger cars experience higher mortality rates than drivers of SUVs, regardless of whether they were struck or were the striking auto.

Head-On Collisions

When two vehicles collide and hit each other frontally, it’s a head-on collision. The force in these accidents is typically exceptional, thereby causing serious injuries or death.


  • Wrong-way driving – Traveling against the flow of  traffic along one-way streets or highways can lead to head-on collisions;
  • Overtake errors: Miscalculating the overtaking distance when overtaking a slower-moving car on a single lane can cause a driver to plow into another vehicle coming from the opposite direction. Overtaking errors may also happen when visibility is poor.
  • Distracted driving: Getting distracted may cause a driver to drift across a center line, causing a collision with a car coming from the opposite direction.
  • Impaired driving: Alcohol and drugs impair a driver’s judgment and coordination – both required for safe driving.

Multi-Car Pile-Ups

Multi-car pile-ups often occur during rush hours and occur on busy streets or highways.


  • Chain Reaction: A chain of events that causes one collision after another with other cars may result when a car stops suddenly, causing several cars to follow suit. This often happens when the roads are slick, drivers experience foggy conditions, or there is highway construction.
  • Weather Conditions: Poor visibility and slick roads make multiple crashes more likely.
  • Heavy Traffic: When traffic congestion is problematic, a single collision can quickly ensnare several vehicles at one time.

Vehicle Rollovers

Rollovers take place when a vehicle flips onto its side or on its roof. These accidents tend to be more fatal than others.


Vehicle Rollovers
  • High Speeds: Turning sharply or making sudden moves at high speeds.
  • Type Of Vehicle Involved: Some cars, such as SUVs, have higher gravity centers, which make them more prone to rolling over during accidents.
  • Driving Under The Influence: Being intoxicated impairs judgment and slows down the reaction time. This increases the chance of getting into this type of accident or any other type of vehicle crash.

Contact a Vehicle Accident Lawyer to Make Sure You Receive Compensation for a Personal Injury Claim

Knowing what kinds of crashes are typical and their causes can help drivers practice safer driving habits. Whether it is a rear-end collision, side-impact crash, rollover, or multiple-vehicle pile-up, a vehicle accident shows drivers why it’s important to stay alert and focused and follow the traffic regulations on the highway and road.

While we may try to drive defensively, accidents do happen. If you’ve been in a car crash, contact a car accident lawyer about your rights to file a claim. A skilled Tysons Corner personal injury lawyer will guide you in the right direction when you’ve been steered off-course and get injured on the roadway.

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