Some of the most devastating injuries that find their way into the emergency room come from auto accidents. And, unfortunately, they are far from uncommon.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 6,296,000 traffic crashes reported in the United States last year, 32,166 fatal. And while each accident differs in its details because of the nature of the accidents, some types are more common, and more likely to cause injuries, than others.
Among the most common accidents are rear-end collisions. These accidents occur primarily when a vehicle slows down drastically or comes to a complete stop, and the following vehicle fails to either decelerate or stop. Among accidents, these generally aren’t the most dangerous, but they do have their own dangers. Specifically, the danger exists, especially in intersections, of being pushed into the intersection itself and causing a further accident.
Also common are head-on collisions. These accidents occur when vehicles collide while driving toward one another. Because of the way the vehicles approach one another, the rate of acceleration is increased making these some of the most dangerous types of accidents.
Broadside collisions are frequent in intersections. In these types of accidents, one car hits another in the side. Most commonly, one vehicle is going through an intersection and another approaches perpendicularly, running a stop sign or light, then hits the first vehicle in the side.
Among the least dangerous collisions, sideswipes generally cause the least amount of damage. Cars sideswipe when they are driving parallel and drift too close to one another, and the cars strike one another.
Roll-over accidents have some of the highest potential for major injuries. These accidents occur most often when a vehicle turns too quickly and the vehicle rolls over one or several times. Potential injuries occur from the speed with which the vehicle flips – all items not secured in the vehicle and parts that break loose become active projectiles. If the accident is severe enough, the roof may collapse, causing the potential for extra injury and damage.
Some accidents become the most tragic because they are completely avoidable. Despite a federal law that makes driving drunk illegal, compounded with numerous state and local regulations, drunk driving accidents are distressingly common. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that between 2003 and 2012, 2,912 people died on American highways as a result of drunk drivers. Despite stricter regulations and an emphasis on stopping drunk driving, this continues to be an issue on roads and highways across the U.S.
These accidents make up the largest percentage of injury accidents overall. While some by their nature — including head-on accidents and roll-overs — have a higher chance for damage and injuries, all accidents have the potential for catastrophe. For example, a sidesweep in most cases causes little more than a scratch; but under the right circumstances, it could contribute to driving a car off the road and into a ditch, causing major damage and serious injuries.
Neale & Fhima has been serving residents of California for more than 40 years and offers free consultations. We do not charge for services unless you win your claim. To speak directly with one of our attorneys or set up a consultation, contact us online or call us at 949.661.1007.