Accident & Personal Injury Attorneys

The Common Types of Car Accidents: A Basic Guide

The WHO estimates that more than 50% of the world’s road traffic deaths occur among pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.

While those vulnerable road users are the most affected, car accidents cause injury, damage, and death to drivers and passengers as well. Indeed, as the leading cause of injury and death in the US, car accidents occur in a variety of ways and in varying degrees of severity.

The type of car accident has more than just an impact on the severity of the damage. It can also impact how much an individual’s claim is worth if it offers some insight into who was at fault.

To learn more about the types of car accidents, read this quick guide that covers them all.

Head-On Collision

When the front ends of two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide, this is called a head-on collision. Head-on collisions are the most common type of vehicle-to-vehicle collision and they can easily cause fatality.

It’s difficult to determine who was at fault in head-on collisions because they can occur in different ways. Some situations are obvious. For example, if one of those vehicles was traveling on the wrong side of the road, that driver would clearly be at fault.

Rear-End Collision

A rear-end collision is when the front side of one vehicle collides with the rear side of another vehicle. These are the second most common types of car accidents. 

Although getting in a car accident of any type can be damaging, rear-end collisions tend to occur at lower speeds. They, therefore, tend to cause less damage and injury, although that can change depending on factors like the speed at which the vehicles were traveling. Find out more about the most common car accident injuries here.

In these car accidents, the driver of the rear vehicle is generally at fault because it’s assumed that they didn’t leave enough room for their vehicle to stop.


Sometimes called a T-bone, these types of car accidents are when one vehicle impacts the side of another vehicle. These can be very dangerous because the side of the vehicle has less protection, leaving drivers and passengers vulnerable to serious impact. 

Side-collisions occur when vehicles fail to yield at intersections. When the side of a vehicle hits a stationary object, this might also be considered a side-collision.

Other Types of Car Accidents

Hit and runs are when a driver leaves the scene of the accident, before or after acknowledging that the accident occurred, without exchanging information or having an intention to take legal responsibility. Victims of hit and runs usually don’t have any recourse against the driver who ran.

Pedestrian and bicycle accidents are any collision that involves a motor vehicle and a pedestrian or cyclist. These of course range in severity depending on speed, distance, and a number of other factors.

Drunk driving kills 29 people in the US every single day. Drunk driving accidents are accidents that involve an alcohol-impaired driver and they often prove deadly.

Legal Advice and Info

The most common types of car accidents are head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, and side collisions, among a few others. The damage and severity of each of these depend on things like the speed at which the vehicles were traveling. But getting in a car accident of any type can cause injury and damage.

To read more about car accidents, personal injury, and other important legal matters, be sure to check our legal blog regularly.

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