Types of car accidents to avoid

7 Common Types of Car Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Every time you get into your car, you risk getting into all types of car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that almost 10 million accidents occur on American roads each year.

While safe driving can go a long way in keeping you safe, negligent drivers on the road can put you at risk. No one wants to get into an accident and that is why it is important to know the common types of car accidents and how you can avoid them.

Here are some common types of car accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

What Are Types Of Car Accidents To Avoid Injury?

There are several types of car accidents that can happen when driving on the road. Each one can cause different kinds of damage to your vehicle and harm you and your passengers. It’s important to know each type of car accident to help avoid them from happening.

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Rear-End Collisions

According to the IIHS, rear-end collisions are among the top reasons for auto insurance claims. These types of car accidents are common on highways with heavy commuter traffic and thoroughfares.

It is not uncommon for motorists who are driving too fast to leave insufficient space between them and the car ahead, increasing the chances of a rear-end collision.

You can avoid rear-end collisions by:

  • Keeping your distance: If you are driving behind another car, always keep enough distance to ensure you can stop safely in an emergency. This is especially important if you are behind a heavy truck. Always keep a minimum of three seconds between you and the car ahead. Consider increasing the distance if you are driving in extreme weather conditions.
  • Strategic driving: If the driver behind you is following closely, there is a real possibility that you might get into a rear-end collision. If you cannot move faster, consider changing lanes. In such instances, it is critical to avoid using your brakes suddenly.
  • Always stay alert: Keep your eyes on the road. Do not text, read messages, drive while drunk, or put yourself in any situation that distracts you from driving, or you might end up rear-ending the vehicle ahead of you.

Front Impact Collisions

A front-impact collision is the opposite of a rear-end collision. This occurs when the front end of a car hits another vehicle.

It could also be a car hitting an object, such as a tree or apple, on the side of the road. The IIHS estimates that up to 57% of accidents in 2019 were front-end collisions.

Front-impact collisions are common when drivers experience poor visibility as a result of weather-related factors.

You can avoid hitting objects and other cars by driving slower in bad weather, ensuring you have enough time to react in an emergency. Do not take your eyes off the road to look at the phone or radio.

car accidents


Rollovers are among the most dangerous types of car accidents on American roads. These commonly result in serious injuries and even death. A rollover commonly occurs when a driver attempts to turn their car at high speeds.

Any attempt to miss an object on the road when you are speeding can also cause a rollover.

You can avoid a rollover by driving within the speed limits and keeping safe speeds on the highway. Avoid making sudden turns on the road, especially in rain or snow.

Side-Impact Collisions

Side-impact collisions commonly occur at intersections where there is confusion about who has the right of way. These types of accidents can be classified under a sideswipe or a T-bone.

A sideswipe occurs between two vehicles driving parallel to each other in different lanes. A T-bone accident occurs when one car crashes head-on into the side of another vehicle.

The impact is commonly on the driver’s side and can result in a variety of serious conditions including concussions, broken bones, or even death.

The IIHS estimates that up to 23% of 2019 accidents were side-impact collisions.

A defensive driving course can go a long way in helping you learn to assess and avoid risks. By being extra vigilant and paying close attention to road signs and traffic lights, you can avoid a side-impact collision.

Pay close attention to your blind spots when changing lanes and be alert when other drivers are doing the same.

Parking Lot Collisions

It is not uncommon to find dented bumpers in busy parking lots. Every time you leave your car in a parking lot, there is a chance of getting hit by another car.

It may happen as they back out of a parking spot or even when there are multiple vehicles trying to get out of the parking lot at the same time.

Avoid parking in the busiest part of the lot. Choose a parking spot away from heavy traffic and always park in the center of the parking lines.

If your car is too close to the parking lines, there is a high chance of getting scratched by the vehicle parking in the next spot.

Invest in a rear-view camera and use it while parking. When at home, park inside the garage. Avoid leaving your car on the driveway or at busy intersections.

types of car accidents to avoid

Single-Vehicle Accidents

A single-vehicle collision occurs when you hit animals, road barriers, or even debris on the road. It can also occur when distracted drivers drive into the scene of an accident or drive off-road.

It is not hard to prevent single-vehicle accidents as these usually involve only one driver. Even if you are the only driver on the road, maintain medium speeds to prevent losing control. Learn how to drive on icy and flooded roads.

Keep your eyes on the road even when there are no other motorists. Avoid texting, eating while driving, making hands-on calls, and do not speed.

Backing Collisions

Backing accidents can also happen as you are backing out of a parking spot or your driveway. These usually occur when there is an unseen obstruction behind your car. Backing accidents can also occur when you are pulling out of a parking space into traffic.

A backup camera is useful for preventing these types of car accidents. If you do not have a backup camera, consider looking around at your surroundings before pulling out of a parking spot.

It is also better to use the shortest route to back out of a parking space. When reversing, use a straight line and turn only if you are clear of any obstructions, including other vehicles. Use your mirrors to continuously assess your surroundings.

Do not use your phone, radio, or any other distractions while backing out.

What Should I Do If I’m Involved in a Car Accident

Now that you know the common types of accidents and how to avoid them, it is also important to know how to react after an accident. Here is a basic checklist of steps to take after a collision:

  • Call 911for a rapid response from the law enforcement team
  • In case of injuries, inform the 911 operator to expedite paramedics
  • Do not leave the scene even if you are not at fault
  • Get the investigating officer’s card and your case number
  • Take as many pictures and videos of the scene as you can
  • Never discuss who is at fault with anyone at the scene of the crime
  • Consider hiring a personal injury lawyer


Fender benders are common, and many occur in similar ways. However, with these tips, you should be able to avoid all types of car accidents. Remember, always keep your eyes on the road. Do not use your phone while driving and always maintain low speeds in poor weather conditions that affect visibility.

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