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Understanding the Types of Car Accidents

car airbag shown out of steering wheel after an accident

From Rear-End Collisions to Rollover Accidents

A car accident occurs anytime your vehicle collides with another vehicle, object, or person. When you collide with a motorcycle, pedestrian, or even a truck, we typically refer to the accident in terms of the other party involved. For example, Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC handles motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, trucking accidents, and even tractor-trailer accidents.

In personal injury law, however, when we talk about car or auto accidents, we are generally talking about multi-vehicle collisions in which two passenger vehicles collide with one another. Occasionally, single-vehicle auto accidents are caused by defective car parts, as well.

No matter what type of accident you were involved in, if the collision was not your fault, Attorney Oppenheimer can help you build a case based on the other driver’s negligence.

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car crash and occur when one vehicle runs into the back of another. In 2017, rear-end accidents caused 2,456 traffic fatalities and in 2018, rear-end collisions killed 1,310 people.

Side-Impact Crashes

T-bone or “angle” accidents and sideswipe collisions are both considered side-impact car crashes. These types of accidents frequently occur in intersections and during turns and lane changes. Essentially, the front or side of one vehicle makes impact with the side of another. Side-impact crashes caused 7,315 fatalities in 2017 and 5,359 deaths in 2018.

Head-On Collisions

As the name suggests, head-on collisions occur when the front of 2 vehicles collide. Negligent drivers usually cause head-on crashes when they drive on the wrong side of the road and drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Because speed is typically a factor, as well, and both vehicles absorb the full impact of the crash, head-on collisions frequently lead to serious injuries and fatalities. In 2017, head-on crashes caused 3,471 deaths and in 2018, head-on collisions claimed 12,932 lives.

Rollover Accidents

Anytime a vehicle tips onto its side or roof at any time during the crash, the accident is classified as a rollover. Rollover accidents are especially dangerous because the vehicle tends to leave the roadway and passengers can be ejected from the vehicle. While rollovers account for only 2.1% of accidents they are linked to nearly 35% of roadway fatalities.

In 2017, rollovers killed 2,750 people and in 2018, rollovers were responsible for 6,583 deaths.


Statistics from 2017 come from the Insurance Information Institute (III) and stats from 2018 come from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). While their analyses may differ, data from both sources is typically pulled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

What To Do if You Are Involved in a Crash

If you are involved in any kind of traffic accident, seek medical attention and cooperate with authorities. Once you have a copy of the police report and understand the scope of your injuries, you may want to contact a lawyer.

Attorney Brett H. Oppenheimer is willing to discuss your case with you during a free consultation. If you were injured by someone else’s negligence, our firm can help.

All you need to do is call us at (502) 242-8877 or send us a message online today.

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