In our current day and age, you might think that driving is safer than ever before. Automakers are constantly installing new safety features such as airbags, back-up cameras, anti-lock brakes, traction control, electronic stability control, forward-collision warnings, blind spot warnings, lane departure warnings, and low tire pressure lights. Lawmakers have implemented stricter driving laws - setting speed limits and prohibiting both driving under the influence and distracted driving. While these measures have helped, unfortunately, car accidents happen every day. It is estimated that over 6 million car accidents happen daily in the United States.
Oftentimes, car accidents happen due to the negligent, or reckless, behavior of one or both drivers. Sometimes car accidents occur because of things outside of a driver’s control like bad weather or hazardous road conditions (construction that is not clearly marked or a dangerous or hard to see intersection that is not clearly marked are just two examples).
Types of Car Accidents
There are many different types of car accidents. Some of the more common include:
One-car accidents. One, or single car, accidents can result in injury to the driver and others, but more often than not are the most likely type of accident to result solely in property damage. Examples of car accidents where only one car is involved include: backing into something, hitting a wall, hitting a stop sign, hitting a curb, hitting a pole or even hitting a pedestrian. In all of the examples listed (except) for hitting a pedestrian, and assuming that you did not damage what you hit, since you caused the damage to your car, you will either need to pay for the damage out of your pocket or file a claim with your insurance company.
Rear-end car accidents. This is perhaps the most common type of car accident, particularly in cities like Charlotte where there are a large number of cars on the road. Rear-end collisions involve two cars and happen when one car crashes into the back end of the car in front of it. Rear-end collisions can happen when the person in front of you suddenly stops and you don’t have time to stop, when a car is stopped at a stop sign or moving slowly, or when you accelerate quickly but the car in front of you does not move or accelerate.
Sometimes, one car rear-ending another can cause a chain reaction and result in multiple rear-end collisions. You may hear about a multi-vehicle collision on the highway during a bad storm or during rush hour traffic.
Rear-end collisions are often caused by distracted driving (for example, texting or checking emails while driving and not realizing that the car in front of you stopped), speeding, tailgating and bad weather.
In rear-end collisions, the driver of the car that rear-ended the car in front of him/her will almost always be found to be at-fault and therefore you and/or your insurance company will be liable to the driver of the other car for damages. You will also be responsible for any repairs to your vehicle.
Typical injuries in rear-end collisions include: whiplash, bruises, head and neck injuries, facial injuries, concussions and soft tissue injuries.
Head-on collision. As the name implies, this type of accident happens when two cars hit head-on. This is one of the most serious types of car accidents and despite the now standard presence of airbags, often result in death or severe injury.
Some of the more common causes of head-on collisions are drunk driving, fatigue, and reckless behavior. Just recently, in July of 2021, a 6 year-old North Carolina boy lost his life after two cars were racing on a highway. Both cars were going at over 100 mph when one of the cars crossed the median and hit, head-on, the car carrying the young boy and his father. The boy was killed and the father severely injured.
Common injuries suffered from head-on collisions are: back, neck, knee and leg injuries (particularly for those sitting in the front of the car since that is the point of impact), and brain injuries.
Rollovers. Rollovers are often the result of excess speed, drunk driving, dangerous roads, tire blowouts or bad weather conditions and happen when a car flips onto its side or roof. The chance of a rollover is greater if you are driving a pick-up truck or an SUV because their center of gravity is different from a regular car. Rollovers typically cause severe injury or death, particularly if the occupants of the car are thrown from the car or crushed by the car as it rolls over.
Side-impact car accidents. Sometimes referred to as t-bone, broadside or side-swipe collisions, these accidents happen when one car hits the side of another car. Running a red light or a stop sign and hitting a car going through an intersection is one of the more common causes of side-impact collisions. Due to the high impact nature of these collisions, head and spinal injuries along with broken bones and internal bleeding are more likely to occur.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
There are any number of reasons why you might be involved in a car accident, some of the more common these days are:
- distracted drivers. More and more people are not paying attention to the road. The prevalence of cell phones in our society has greatly increased the number of car accidents caused by people not paying attention.
- dangerous roads. Roads can be dangerous for any number of reasons including weather, pedestrians or bicyclists in the roadway, construction, debris in the road, or the natural twists and turns of the road.
- driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs
- driving when tired
Why Do I Need a Charlotte Law Firm?
Car accidents happen more often than people realize. The Charlotte, NC based lawyers at Rosensteel Fleishman, PLLC are experienced car accident attorneys who can help you understand your rights and whether or not you have damages and should proceed with a claim. Please contact our office at 704-714-1450. There is no fee for an initial consultation.