Types of Car Accidents
Car accidents result in bodily injuries, including broken bones, whiplash, or head, neck, and spinal injuries. Depending on the angle, location, and speed the vehicles are traveling, some accidents can be avoided. Other accidents, however, such as T-bone accidents, rear-end accidents, and sideswipe accidents are more difficult to prevent. The following are different types of car accidents, why they occur, and what injuries they commonly cause. Understanding this list can help you avoid an accident and/or know what to do if it ever happens to you.
When you reach out to our car accident lawyers in Virginia Beach, we will help you with any accident that may have occurred. Do not assume that your accident is bad luck. We ensure that you are given the assistance you need during this difficult time, and we will treat you with the care you deserve as you recover.
Car accidents occur every day, and they are caused by several factors, including:
Drivers can veer into oncoming traffic if they have been drinking, are fatigued, or are distracted by their phone or radio. Head-on collisions account for a small percentage of wrecks overall, yet they have a much higher fatality rate. The force of both vehicles is magnified on impact, increasing the chance of serious injuries to the head, neck, and back. Wrong way drivers may be confused, or inclement weather might make it impossible to know where they are on the road.
Drivers should slow down if they cannot see due to the weather, and to stop in extreme cases. Watch for road signs because a driver might unknowingly travel down a one-way street if rain or snow makes it hard to see. Ensure that you are entering the highway properly and be mindful when driving through or around construction zones. When a driver must shift lanes, they might hit another car that is forced to drive in their lane. The same is true if a driver is passing garbage trucks or mail vans.
Drivers who are passing on long and winding roads often do not leave enough room to pass the vehicle in front of them. Because drivers are coming from the other direction, a motorist may not have enough time to get back in their lane. Dotted lines are painted on the road to indicate where it is safe to pass, and a driver should only pass when it is safe to do so. Statistics show that only about two percent of all crashes are head-on collisions, but these crashes account for 10 percent of all fatalities on the road. Because of this, use extra caution when on the road.
Taller vehicles, such as cargo trucks, vans, and SUVs, are more prone to rollover accidents. These accidents usually occur when the driver makes a sudden or sharp turn. Be aware of how large the vehicle is, how it feels when making sharp turns, and any warnings provided by the manufacturer. Most large vehicles will have a warning on the sun visor stating if the vehicle could roll over easily. Large vehicles could rollover if they are pushed aside by heavy winds, or if the driver hits a patch of ice. When a driver overcorrects for the conditions, the car could tip over.
Rollover accidents can also occur when a car is pitted by another vehicle. If a driver is not tapping their brakes or hits their brakes in front of another car, they might correct to avoid hitting another vehicle. When that driver clips the corner of the vehicle, it could turn over. At the same time, drivers should not follow or pass too closely to other vehicles.
A driver that is making an emergency stop in a large vehicle could slide sideways or rollover because they turned while stopping. This is why drivers should leave enough space in front to stop, make slight adjustments when necessary, and slow down to avoid accidents. Rollover accident injuries vary depending on how fast the vehicle was traveling and how far and forcefully it rolled over. Traumatic brain injuries and/or spinal injuries are seen in rollovers, especially when passengers are not wearing seat belts.
Accidents or pileups involving multiple vehicles are dangerous because their size makes it more difficult to extricate injured passengers. As these crashes grow, injuries could become more severe. The risk of car fires also rises in pileups because fuel and fluids from each vehicle could be ignited by a single spark.
These crashes might also reveal defects in vehicles that could cause dangerous situations. Door latches might fail, and a driver could be stuck in their car. The car might crumple more than it should, or the brakes might fail because they were not designed properly. Shattered glass that was not designed properly could cause injuries in the vehicle, and airbags might not deploy.
Multi-vehicle accidents are common on highways where a single crash sets off a chain reaction as vehicles arriving on the scene are unable to stop in time. Obeying the speed limit, keeping your eyes on the road, and staying off your phone might help you see an accident as it develops, drive around it, or help drivers who were involved.
Nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2017 alone, and another 137,000 pedestrians were injured in car crashes. Pedestrian accidents often occur when drivers are simply not paying attention to who is on the road. Alcohol was involved in almost half of all pedestrian crashes, which includes both the driver and the pedestrian. Seniors account for about 20 percent of all pedestrian deaths each year, and they fall into the same category as an intoxicated pedestrian. Pedestrians should move up to the sidewalk if there is one or move off the shoulder of the road where possible.
Similarly, one in every five children that were killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians. Children play on the front lawns near the road or may use the sidewalk to get to a friend’s house. Be especially careful when you know children are around because they are small, hard to see, and move quickly. Likewise, drivers should stay away from the edge of the road and look for any pedestrians that may be present. When drivers come to crosswalk, they should be prepared for someone to cross. An errant pedestrian may not have noticed that the light changed, and they could be in the driver’s path. When a driver is making a right turn at a stop light, pedestrians have the right of way because they are allowed to cross. It is up to the driver to ensure that all pedestrians have crossed before proceeding.
Rear-end accidents are the most common type of car accident. While they can happen anywhere, they are especially common in stop-and-go traffic during morning or evening rush hours, holiday traffic jams, or in the wake of a previous accident. If a following car is not moving at a high speed, injuries are usually minor. If the second car is traveling faster, passengers in the front vehicle can experience whiplash or other head and neck injuries. This is especially true if the impact causes passengers or drivers to hit the dashboard or steering wheel.
Drivers must remain alert during slow traffic because it is never known when another driver will stop. Do not cut off other drivers in tight traffic because they might slam into your car if they cannot stop fast enough. This may also be the case if a driver cuts off another driver leading up to a stop light. When in traffic, do not use aggressive driving tactics to annoy other drivers. When a driver cuts off another driver or taps their brakes, they could cause an accident because they were not ready to stop. Advance carefully with traffic, and do not randomly speed up simply because a small gap has opened. The driver behind you might assume that traffic has cleared and pick up speed.
Sideswipe accidents occur when two vehicles travel next to each other in the same direction. One vehicle will typically veer into the other’s driving space. The car that is changing lanes will hit the other car or cause the other driver to lose control of their vehicle. The initial impact of a sideswipe accident might be minimal, but the results can be tragic. Drivers may not have a way to stop when they are sideswiped, or they might hit another car in the process. Drivers may be run off the road, hit a sign or tree, be pushed into a barrier on the highway, or strike a fire hydrant on a surface street.
T-bone accidents occur when one vehicle crashes into the side of another. These accidents generally occur when one car makes an unsafe left turn in front of another, causing the second car to hit the side of the first vehicle. These accidents also occur when a driver runs a red light, is struck in the middle of a four-way stop, or runs a stop sign. Drivers must be aware of all traffic signs in order to prevent this type of accident.
While ridesharing accidents could happen in a variety of ways, they are worth noting because they present unique challenges regarding liability. Drivers should call 911 when a ride-sharing accident occurs, gather insurance information from the driver and anyone else involved in the accident, and seek immediate medical attention.
What is Pure Contributory Negligence?
Virginia uses the pure contributory negligence rule to determine how damages are paid after an accident. Plaintiffs must prove that they were not to blame for the accident, or they could be denied coverage or damages if they were found to be even one percent responsible for the accident. The type of accident may make it more or less difficult to prove liability. We advise that drivers use caution on the road to ensure that their insurance company or the other driver cannot blame them for causing the accident. For example, the defendant might claim that the plaintiff was tapping their brakes or using aggressive driving tactics.
Our Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Fight for Victims of All Types of Car Accidents
If you were injured in a car accident, our Virginia Beach car accident lawyers will fight for the compensation you deserve. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we will carefully review your case and defend your rights. Call us today at 757-352-2237 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.