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Common Types of Car Accidents and Their Consequences

There are thousands of car accidents, wrecks, and crashes in the Carolinas every year. Whether you’re in North Carolina or South Carolina, you’re probably going to be involved in one at some point in your life. When you’re hurt in an accident, the stakes go up.

As car accident attorneys, there are a few types of accidents, causes of crashes, and consequences we see more than others. Whether or not the accident that injured you falls into these common types, we recommend a case evaluation from an attorney with experience in car accident cases. Many firms, including ours, will evaluate your case for free.

Common Auto Accident Types – Direction of Impact

There are three common ways cars collide with each other, each with its own set of risks and consequences.

  • Head-On Collisions – Perhaps the most dangerous accident to have is a head-on collision. The energy that the collision produces (or the force of the impact) is doubled due to the speed each vehicle is traveling. These types of crashes increase the risk of the most serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and spinal injuries, as well as risk of death.

Head-on collision between two cars at an intersection.

  • Rear-End Collisions – These seem to happen all the time, often the result of the trailing driver following too closely or not paying attention. Think rush hour traffic and you get the idea. There’s a common perception that the trailing driver is always at fault, but that is not necessarily true. Every case is unique. Rear-end collisions commonly result in whiplash injuries, though injuries from these crashes run the gamut.

Two damaged cars on a road, caused by a rear-end collision.

  • Side Impact Collisions – There are two major types of side impact crashes, the T-bone and the sideswipe. T-bone crashes usually happen when the front of one car smashes into the side of another. These can result in devastating injuries to the occupant on the impact side of the vehicle. The sideswipe crash is when a car hits another side on. From sudden lane changes to so-called “near-miss” head-on collisions, sideswipes can be incredibly destructive.

Examples of two cars getting in a sideswipe collision and a t-bone accident at an intersection.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

You can probably list a number of these off the top of your head. How many times have you seen bad behavior on the road? Here are some causes we see regularly:

  • Distracted Driving – Cell phones. Books. Navigation systems. Food. Children. Pets. An awesome drum solo on the steering wheel. You name it, people are distracted by it.
  • Fatigued Driving – Whether it’s too late, too early, or just from working too hard or too long (or both), people get behind the wheel when they really should be getting some rest.
  • Alcohol and Drugs – whether illegal or prescription – can inhibit the ability to drive responsibly.
  • Speeding – Excessive speed is a contributing cause in many accidents, and the higher the speed, the more potential for severe damage or injury. And, typically, speeding doesn’t really get you to your destination that much faster anyway.
  • Aggressive Driving – Driving is not a competition, and the road is not a race. Yet, a 2019 poll showed that 82% of drivers in the US admitted to having road rage or driving aggressively at least once in the previous year.

When you get behind the wheel, you have a duty to operate your vehicle with care. Anything less could be considered “negligent.” In the Carolinas, negligence generally is the failure to act in a way that a reasonable person would in the interest of safety. So, when another driver neglects to carry out their reasonable duty, and you get hurt, you may be able to hold them – and/or their insurance company – responsible for the damage done to you through a personal injury claim.

Not Just Cars: Different Road Users, More Kinds of Crashes

Obviously, cars aren’t the only users of the road. There are all kinds of vehicles sharing the streets. That means there are all kinds of collisions involving them. Some bring with them special circumstances and risks.

  • Trucks, Big Rigs, Tractor Trailers, 18-wheelers, and commercial trucks – No matter what you call them, what size or shape they come in, or where you see them, these vehicles can outweigh the average car many times over. There are special regulations and rules governing some of them, and an accident involving a commercial vehicle can be a very complicated case.
  • Motorcycles – Whether two or three-wheeled, motorcycles and scooters are how a lot of people like to experience the freedom of the open road. Their relatively small size, however, means drivers who are not paying proper attention often do not see them, resulting in accidents. And because they do not have the safety of a car surrounding them, and helmet laws (and/or observance of those laws) are inconsistent across states, bikers can be at risk for significant injuries in even minor accidents.
  • Cyclists – Not every vehicle has an engine or motor. Many people ride their bikes on Carolina roads. Drivers should always be on the lookout for people on bicycles. They’re very easy to miss if a driver is not paying proper attention to the road.
  • Pedestrians – Yes, there are people walking on the streets and roads. Even with the pedestrian safety features in the most modern cars, an accident involving a pedestrian has the potential for disaster.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney for a Free Case Evaluation

No matter what type of injury you suffered, if it was the result of someone else’s careless actions, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin. You can reach us 24/7 at 1-866-900-7078, online, via chat, or via text. We’ll evaluate your case for free and discuss how we may be able to help you. Don’t just suffer the consequences of someone else’s negligence. Tell them you mean business!