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Five Types of Car Accidents

While every car accident is unique in its own right, each accident has some commonalities it shares with many other accidents. One of these common factors is the type of impact in the accident. There are only so many ways two cars can collide, and as such we can pretty easily classify accidents based on this factor. This is also helpful because these different types all have their own injury tendencies and share a number of other factors as well.

On this blog, we’ll take a look at these different types of car accidents and discuss a few factors that accidents of each type all share.


Rear-end accidents are when one vehicle collides with the back of another, including hitting the trunk or rear bumper. Rear-end accidents are one of the most common types of accidents, primarily at traffic control spots like stop signs or traffic lights.

There are a few other things these accidents usually have in common as well. First, they almost always cause some sort of whiplash or neck injury to the occupants of the vehicle that was struck from behind, as the sudden lurch of the car forward often causes their bodies to move forward but their heads to remain stationary, a phenomenon which modern headrests are designed to prevent. Second, they’re almost always caused by distraction. Whether it’s a cell phone, talking to passengers, or changing the radio, these accidents are most often the result of someone failing to notice a sudden change in speed or traffic flow, thus colliding with the person in front of them.


Head-on collisions are when two vehicles collide front-end to front-end, and are widely considered to be the most dangerous type of car accident. When two vehicles traveling different directions collide head-to-head, the amount of force sent through each vehicle is tremendous, and thus it’s not uncommon for those involved in these accidents to suffer serious injuries requiring substantial medical treatment. They also cause major property damage, and most vehicles involved in even a moderate head-on collision will likely be declared a “total loss” by insurance companies.

Nearly any type of injury is possible in a head-on collision, including head, neck, and back injuries, broken bones, bruises, brain injuries like concussions, and so much more. However, thanks to monumental advances in engineering and safety technology, the fatality rate for these types of accidents is significantly lower today than it was as little as 20 or 30 years ago.


Side-impact collisions are also often referred to as “T-bone” accidents, and occur when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another, creating the “T” shape. These accidents are also extremely injury-prone, particularly due to the significantly reduced protective armor surrounding occupants along the sides of vehicles compared to the front and rear. The sides of vehicles are significantly thinner and have much less material to absorb the impact of an accident, thus making these high-danger accidents.

Side-impact injuries can vary pretty broadly, depending on the severity of the impact and safety features included in the vehicle. Side-impact curtain airbags are becoming fairly common in modern cars because of their immense safety benefits, but they’re not nearly as widespread as front passenger ones. As a result, neck injuries, concussions, and broken bones are some of the most common injuries from these types of collisions.


Rollover accidents are pretty much exactly what they sound like: when a vehicle is pushed off its wheels and rolls over onto its side or roof. In the past, these accidents used to be tremendously dangerous and would result in drivers and passengers possibly even being trapped. However, advancements in technology and more rigorous safety standards have increased roof and support pillar strength to prevent this from happening.

Rollover accidents are pretty synonymous with head injuries, as a driver or occupant’s head bouncing around and colliding with the window or other things in the cabin can result in some heavy impacts. Concussions, whiplash, serious bruising, and lacerations are all not uncommon.


Solo accidents are unique in that unlike other types of accidents which require a collision between two vehicles, these accidents only have one single vehicle. Solo accidents are generally one of three types: head-on, side-impact, or rollover. While rear-end accidents can also happen, in solo accidents they’re usually nothing more than a small bump that only causes mild property damage rather than injuries.

If you have suffered injuries from one of these types of car accidents, call a Stuart car accident attorney from Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC today at (866) 675-4427!