Most Common Types and Causes of Car Accidents

By Chris Dixon


In 2016 alone there were 10,011 people killed because of speeding accidents, more than 10,000 killed due to drunk driving, and 3,450 lives claimed because of distracted driving. While there are plenty of campaigns that are aimed at road safety, it is important to restate the facts. By staying informed of the most common types of car accidents and the cause of them, drivers can hopefully prevent avoidable car accidents, and stay safe during unavoidable accidents. Discussing a car accident case with a St. Louis personal injury lawyer can give you the peace-of-mind that you need, and aid in getting your case the most in compensation.

Analyzing the Car Accident Rate in the U.S.

Between 2015 and 2016, there was an increase in the rate of car accidents and 40,200 people lost their lives. To add a bit of context to the extremity of this, in 2010, 32,885 people died in car accidents in the U.S. While there are a number of reasons why each of these car accidents happened, most were caused by speeding, intoxicated driving and distracted driving. In these situations, it is easy to feel lost and overwhelmed. The best thing that drivers can do in this situation is to call a personal injury lawyer and discuss the facts of their case. While that is probably the last thing that you want to do after being involved in a car accident, an attorney can help immensely. A local attorney will not only deal with the insurance company for you, but they will fight for your case and utilize every last tool they have to make sure that you receive the most for your car accident case.

Most Common Types of Car Accidents

Life is random, and mistakes and car accidents happen every day. Some accidents are avoidable, such as those involving intoxication and speeding, and others such as defective motor vehicles and single-car accidents involving a pedestrian are mostly unavoidable. The most commonly reported types of car accidents in St. Louis include:

  • Rear-End Collisions: Commonly caused by human error, rear-end collisions occur when one car hits the car that is in front of it. Injuries from this type of accident include whiplash, back injuries, neck and head injuries and more.
  • Side-Impact Accidents: When the side of one vehicle is hit by the front or rear of another vehicle this causes a side-impact crash. This can happen due to distracted driving, bad road conditions, intoxicated driving and more. Injuries vary, but can often be severe due to the angle of the impact and safety of the vehicle that is hit. Sometimes airbags don’t deploy in time, or a vehicle has faulty or bad crumple zones that don’t absorb enough of the shock during the crash.
  • Head-On Collision: The most fatal type of collision, especially involving vehicles driving at high speeds, a head-on collision is when one vehicle hits the front of a vehicle with the front of their vehicle. The impact of this type of collision is powerful, and the location of the crash is what makes these type of accidents particularly fatal.
  • Side-Swiping: Distracted driving and a number of other dangerous driving habits can cause vehicles to collide when changing lanes. This is called Sideswiping. While damages are typically only cosmetic, whiplash can occur.
  • Single-Car Crash: An accident involving only one vehicle, caused by a driver losing control of their vehicle. Injuries vary with single-car crashes since there are a variety of different situations where this can happen, but some of the more common injuries include head and neck, arm and wrist, whiplash and more.

The Top 5 Causes of Car Accidents

The leading causes of car accidents are drunk driving, speeding, distractions while driving and bad weather. Driving while drunk impairs your cognitive ability and senses, and prevents you from thinking rationally and staying alert while driving. While it may seem obvious, speeding while driving is a major cause of car accidents. Roughly 31% of transportation accidents are caused by speeding. Distractions are everywhere, but it is important to stay focused while driving. Drivers should avoid talking on the phone, playing with their GPS or radio, or texting while driving to avoid distraction. Lastly, bad weather is a common cause of car accidents. Though there are traffic signs along the highway that remind drivers to slow down and drive cautiously in bad weather, 11% of accidents are caused because of bad weather.

What to Do if You are Involved in a Car Accident

  • Call 911: When an accident happens, you should immediately call the police and get them involved with the accident. A police report will be made which could become handy when trying to prove the other driver as negligent.
  • Get medical attention: Even if you think that you weren’t injured during the accident, it is important to get checked out by a medical professional to make sure. Internal injuries can sometimes only have minor symptoms, and not all external injuries are obvious. An official medical report will be created which can be powerful when trying to win damages for your injuries from the crash.
  • Document everything: Take pictures of the scene, road marks, debris, damages done to vehicles and any injuries sustained in the accident. This will help depict what happened during the accident, and ensure that none of the details will be altered.
  • Gather information: Swap contact and insurance information with all parties involved, and take down the names and numbers of anyone that witnessed the accident.
  • Contact your insurance company: Immediately let your insurance company know about the accident.
  • Call a lawyer: Find a local lawyer that you trust and go over your case to see what can be done. Having an experienced, St. Louis attorney in your corner when dealing with big insurance companies can ensure that you receive the most for your car accident claim.

Road Safety Tips and How to Handle Your Car Accident Claim

Traffic laws are in place because they are designed to keep you and others safe while driving. It is important to stay alert and focused while driving, avoid distractions such as talking on the phone and texting, avoid driving while intoxicated, and avoid speeding. While all accidents are not avoidable, following these rules can help keep you and other drivers on the road safe. If you are involved in a car accident with a negligent driver, it is important to take action with your car accident claim and hire a lawyer to handle your case. A St. Louis personal injury lawyer will analyze your case, come up with a plan, deal with the hassle of negotiating with the negligent driver’s insurance company and fight for compensation for your case. If you are interested in speaking to a lawyer in St. Louis about your car accident case, the Dixon Injury Firm is available 24/7. Contact our attorneys today for more information on how we can help win your car accident case.

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