Car accident in a highway

Traffic Tragedy: Common Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents

Car accidents are quite common, in fact, there are roughly 6 million car accidents annually in the US, 72% of which resulting in property damage 27% resulting in non-fatal injuries, and 6% ending in fatality. Most of these fatal accidents are due to driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding, and reckless driving.

It’s important to know the different common types of traffic/motor vehicle accidents in order to avoid them.  Additionally, knowing the differences between these types of accidents would help you accurately describe and report the incident when talking to the authorities, asking for repair quotations with auto shops, claiming your auto insurance, and/or when calling your personal injury attorney in Salt Lake City if you ever get injured in a motor vehicle accident. As such, let’s take a look at the most common motor vehicle accidents to watch out for:

Single Car Accident

A single-car accident, as the name suggests, involves only one vehicle. These types of accidents could be due to running off-road, colliding with fallen debris, animals, or persons. These types of accidents are oftentimes caused by lack of focus (due to drowsiness or DUI), or a mechanical malfunction such as brakes not working.

Read End Collision

A rear-end collision is an accident wherein a car hits the rear of another vehicle in front of it. These often happen if the vehicle in front suddenly decelerates or brakes, or if the car behind suddenly accelerates, resulting in the front end of one vehicle to hit the rear of the other. Oftentimes, the injuries to the driver and passengers of the hit vehicle (the one in front) are greater than the injuries sustained by the hitting vehicle (the one in the back).

Side-Impact Collision

Side-impact occurs when the front or rear of another vehicle hits the side of another vehicle, oftentimes resulting in more severe injuries and damage as compared to rear-end collisions.


Sidesweeps involve two vehicle’s sides hitting or scraping each other, and often only result in cosmetic damage.


A rollover is an accident wherein one vehicle flips over its side or roof. This generally happens when a vehicle executes a sharp turn which can result in significant injury to the driver and passenger and damage to the car. However, it can also be due to the impact from another vehicle. Among other vehicular accidents, rollovers have relatively high fatality rate.

Head-On Collision

A head-on collision is an oftentimes-fatal accident wherein two vehicles’ front ends impact each other. These often occur when a car overtakes another and hits an oncoming vehicle. It’s important for one to be aware of traffic signs and street conditions, and to always stay in the proper lane in order to avoid being a victim of a head-on collision.


A pile-up, or multiple vehicle-pile up, is an accident wherein more than two vehicles are involved. This is the deadliest type of traffic accident as vehicles are oftentimes hit more than once and in multiple directions, causing damage and injuries at all sides. Even those escaping their vehicles during a pile-up are still at risk of getting hit by oncoming vehicles.


Taking a picture of a car accident

Everyone should be aware of these different types of car accidents for the purposes of both safety and brevity; being aware of these car accident types can help you in avoiding them and in reporting them. And, if you ever do get injured in one of these accidents, make sure to give a call to your personal injury attorney in Salt Lake City to help you claim insurance and cover your medical bills and possible lost wages due to the injury.

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