The 5 Most Common Types of Car Crashes

Every year, there are nearly 400,000 car accidents across Florida. In 2023, almost 42% of these crashes resulted in an injury. There were 3,172 fatal crashes in Florida that year, which caused 3,394 deaths. 

Some types of car accidents are more common than others, and certain types of crashes are more likely to cause serious injuries. Here are the five most common types of crashes and what causes them. 

1. Rear-End Collisions

About 32% of accidents nationwide are rear-end crashes. They are the most common type of car accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

Rear-end crashes are responsible for about 30% of crash-related injuries but just 7% of traffic fatalities. These accidents are the leading cause of whiplash. While most rear-end crashes do not cause serious injuries, every year, about 2,000 people are killed, and tens of thousands are hurt in rear-end collisions. 

Common causes of rear-end collisions include following too closely, speeding, distraction or inattention, and driving under the influence. Mechanical failure or poor maintenance, like faulty brakes or broken tail lights, can also cause rear-end accidents. 

2. Intersection Accidents

About 40% of accidents happen at intersections, yet over 50% of fatal and injury collisions occur in or near intersections. 

Intersection accidents may involve: 

In 2023, there were 323,460 intersection accidents in Florida. This included 1,032 fatal crashes, 5,996 crashes with serious injuries, and 30,483 accidents with apparent injuries. 

Intersection crashes are so common because drivers must judge the speed of oncoming traffic, watch for many types of hazards, and pay attention to traffic signals. 

Common factors in intersection collisions include:

  • Misjudging speed
  • Incorrectly assuming the behavior of others
  • Making a turn without a clear view
  • Running a stop sign or red light
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Failing to use a turn signal 

Intersections are dangerous for motorists as well as pedestrians and bicyclists. About 16% of pedestrian deaths happen at intersections

3. Left-Turn Accidents

According to the NHTSA, 61% of intersection collisions involve a left-hand turn versus just 3.1% of accidents involving right turns. Left turns were the critical pre-crash event in 22% of intersection accidents. 

Nationwide, 22% of all crashes involve a left turn, including 53% of cross-path collisions. 

The most common causes of left-turn crashes are: 

  • Inadequate surveillance
  • Incorrect assumption of another’s action
  • Turning with an obstructed view
  • Illegal maneuvers, such as running a red light 
  • Internal driver distractions, such as texting or talking to a passenger
  • Misjudging another’s speed or distance

Left turns are dangerous because they usually require turning into oncoming traffic and diverting your attention. A left turn requires attention to traffic signals, crosswalks, blind spots, and oncoming traffic from multiple directions while judging speed and distance.

4. Rollover Accidents

A rollover accident happens when a vehicle tips onto its roof or side in an accident. Rollover accidents makeup just 3% of traffic accidents, but they are responsible for about 35% of passenger vehicle fatalities. 

SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks have the highest risk of a rollover in a crash due to a low center of gravity. SUVs are most likely to roll over in an accident: 6% of all SUV crashes involve a rollover, yet they account for 36% of fatal SUV accidents. 

About 85% of rollover fatalities happen in single-vehicle crashes. This often happens when the vehicle “trips” by striking a curb or the driver swerves or turns too quickly. 

Rollover crashes are usually caused by: 

  • Tripping. This happens when the tire hits a ditch or curb, causing the tire to leave the road. The vehicle’s weight is shifted to one side, and the vehicle rolls. 
  • Speeding. A driver may take a turn or curve too fast and cause the tires to lose their grip. 
  • Crashes. When the force of a collision is strong, it can cause the vehicle to tip and roll. 

About 95% of rollover crashes are caused by tripping.

5. Head-On Collisions

Just 2% of accidents are head-on crashes, but these accidents are responsible for 14% of traffic fatalities and 27% of roadway departure deaths. 

Head-on collisions are often caused by: 

  • Wrong-way driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Unsafe passing, often while trying to pass on a two-lane highway 

What makes head-on collisions so deadly? Because both vehicles are going in opposite directions at the time of impact, the force of the crash is doubled. Even low-speed crashes can be catastrophic. If both vehicles are traveling at 35 mph when they collide, the force of the crash is equivalent to 75 mph.

Other Common Types of Accidents 

The five types of car accidents above represent most crashes, but there are many other types of accidents common on Florida roads. 

Other examples of car crashes include: 

  • U-turn accidents. U-turns are only allowed in specific circumstances. Accidents often happen when a driver makes a U-turn illegally or when they do not have the right-of-way. 
  • T-bone accidents. A T-bone crash happens when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle. These crashes usually happen at intersections when one vehicle runs a red light or stop sign. 
  • Single-vehicle accidents. About half of all accidents in Florida involve a single-vehicle crash. These accidents are often caused by the driver’s own negligence, but not always. Vehicle defects, road conditions, and animals on the road can be responsible. 
  • Multi-vehicle crashes. Accidents involving more than two vehicles are often serious and complex. Vehicles are often impacted by more than one collision which increases the severity of injuries. 
  • Highway accidents. Crashes on a highway are often serious due to the force involved in these high-speed crashes. 
  • Lane change accidents. Many accidents happen when a motorist fails to change lanes safely. This may be caused by speeding, distraction, reckless driving, or failing to check blind spots. 
  • Hit-and-run accidents. In 2022, there were nearly 105,000 hit-and-run crashes in Florida. These accidents caused 266 fatalities and 1,007 serious injuries. 
  • Commercial vehicle accidents. Crashes involving large trucks account for a disproportionate share of serious and fatal accidents. Passenger vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and cyclists make up 83% of fatalities in these crashes. 

These crashes can lead to severe injuries and immense property damage

Any type of car accident can cause serious injury or disability that may prevent you from working and affect you for the rest of your life. If someone else’s negligence caused your accident, you may be entitled to money for the losses you have suffered. 

If you have been hurt in a car accident, we are here to help you. Contact Allen Law Firm, P.A. for a free case review with an Ocala car accident lawyer. We will help you understand your options and what we can do for you.

We have two convenient locations in Florida:

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
(877) 255-3652

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 351-3258

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Downtown Gainesville
621 W University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
(866) 928-6292