There are almost as many ways to crash a car as there are drivers, but most collisions fall into one of just a few categories. Given standard traffic patterns and universal driving mistakes, it’s not surprising that police and emergency responders tend to see the same kinds of crashes and injuries over and over. Why is it, then, that we can’t seem to avoid them? Learn more about what causes common types of collisions from our Indianapolis car accident lawyer and how you may be able to avoid becoming a victim of one.
Most Common Types of Car Accidents in Indiana
If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know how frightening it can be. For both the victim and the at-fault driver, the impact often comes as a complete shock. After all, if you knew it was coming, you would have avoided it—right? The following kinds of crashes are typical of what happens on Indiana roads every day:
- Rear-end. By far the most common type of auto collision, rear-end accidents account for almost 30 percent of all crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These occur when a driver is unable to stop his car before hitting the car in front of him. This is almost always the result of following a lead car too closely, so the rear driver is usually found to be at fault. Even if the lead driver brakes suddenly, the following driver should have allowed enough space to stop. Rear-end collisions often result in whiplash injuries, broken bones, and airbag injuries.
- T-bone. Also known as a side-impact crash, a car is said to T-bone another when its front end hits the side of another. When there is an occupant behind the point of impact, these collisions can cause serious injuries and even fatalities. T-bone crashes most often occur at intersections. The at-fault driver is usually the one who broke a traffic law, but both drivers could share the blame in certain situations. These crashes can result in serious injuries, especially to drivers or passengers sitting at the point of impact.
- Rollover. Rollover crashes are the most deadly kind of crash, accounting for over 30 percent of all vehicle occupant fatalities. High-profile vehicles such as SUVs are particularly at risk of a rollover and the survival of the occupants depends on the vehicle’s roof strength. Rollovers can be caused by swerving suddenly, running off the road, or from the impact of another vehicle. In single-vehicle rollovers, fault often lies with the driver, but may also be due to road conditions or poor vehicle design. Victims can suffer head injuries, broken bones, decapitation, and death in a rollover crash.
- Head-on. Often occurring on single-lane roads with no barrier between the two directions of traffic, head-on collisions are rare but deadly. When a driver crosses the center line or enters a highway in the wrong direction, he can collide head-to-head with a car traveling in the other direction, resulting in a force equal to slamming into a brick wall. The wrong-way driver would be determined to be at fault. These crashes can cause catastrophic injuries, including head trauma, spinal damage, and death.
Defensive Driving Can Help Prevent Car Accidents
To avoid becoming the victim in these kinds of crashes, it is important that you are alert, awake, sober, and undistracted at all times. If you notice an erratic or reckless driver near you, avoid him at all costs. The following defensive-driving tips may be helpful:
- If a car is following too closely behind you, encourage him to pass by slowing down further or pulling over completely.
- Quickly check for cars before proceeding through an intersection at a green light. Cars trying to beat a yellow light may speed through after your light has turned green.
- Avoid sudden motions such as sharp turns when driving a high-profile vehicle. Always slow down before executing a turn.
- In general, wrong-way drivers will instinctively try to return to the correct side of the street when they realize their mistake, so your best bet is to swerve off the road, not into the other lane.