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Types of Car Accidents

No one ever climbs into their vehicle in the morning expecting an accident, yet in Texas, one person was injured in a traffic accident every 2 minutes and 9 seconds in 2022.

Car accidents can be traumatic experiences, especially when they cause serious injuries followed by the additional distress of navigating a complex Texas car accident claim to recover damages like medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.

With congested urban roadways and winding rural roads, car accidents are a significant hazard Texas residents face every day. Not all accidents are predictable or preventable, but by understanding the types of car accidents common in Texas and elsewhere, motorists are better prepared to avoid them.

Rear-End Collisions

Unfortunately, rear-end collisions are common in Texas. When drivers fail to leave adequate following distance (tailgating), or they are distracted by a cell phone while behind the wheel, they may fail to stop in time to prevent a rear-end collision with a slowed or stopped vehicle in front of them.

Nearly half of all car accidents in Texas are rear-end collisions. Drivers have a duty to take reasonable measures to prevent causing an accident and injuries to others. This duty includes maintaining a safe distance between vehicles on the roadway. The driver in the rear is most often the negligent party in a rear-end collision, but the front driver may be liable under some circumstances.

Rear-end collisions result in serious injuries such as whip-lash, fractures, head injuries, and crush injuries.

Side-Impact Collisions (T-Bone Accidents)

Side-impact collisions in Texas most commonly occur in intersections due to one driver’s failure to stop at a red light or stop sign, or failure to yield the right of way. Distracted or impaired drivers also cause side-impact collisions. When a driver fails to adhere to traffic laws and causes a side-impact collision they are liable for the damages.

Because there is less of a buffer between motorists and the point of impact in a collision against the side of a vehicle, side-impact accidents cause serious injuries and are the most dangerous accidents for back-seat passengers. About 25% of all accidents in Texas are T-bone collisions resulting in injuries such as multiple fractures, shoulder injuries, back injuries, neck injuries, and head injuries. In 2022, 1,030 motorists were killed in collisions in intersections.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions occur when two vehicles directly collide with the point of impact at the front end of both vehicles. Head-on collisions occur when one driver drifts out of their lane on a two-lane highway, turns the wrong way on a one-way street, or through improperly passing. Head-on collisions are the most deadly type of car accident, resulting in injuries such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI), fractures, internal organ injuries, back and neck injuries, spinal cord damage, and facial injuries. In 2022, 636 people were killed in head-on collisions in Texas.

Rollover Accidents

Rollover accidents occur when a driver runs off the road, dramatically swerves or over-corrects, or speeds around a curve causing the vehicle to flip and roll. Taller vehicles without a broadened wheelbase are more prone to rolling over in an accident. Rollovers more commonly occur in rural areas and result from speeding, reckless driving, poor road conditions, or skidding off the roadway or down embankments.

Around 20% of fatal car accidents in Texas in 2021 were rollover accidents. Common injuries in rollovers include fractures, head injuries, back injuries, neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, crush injuries, and burns.

Sideswipe Accidents

Sideswipe accidents in Texas occur mainly on multi-lane highways or when one vehicle passes another on a two-lane highway. Sideswipe accidents occur when one vehicle impacts the other with a glancing blow along the sides of both vehicles.

Common causes of sideswipe accidents are unsafe lane changes, drifting out of a lane, or improper passing. Injuries from sideswipe accidents are typically less severe than other accident types unless one or both drivers lose control and run off the road or if one car bumps another into moving traffic. Injuries include fractures, head injuries, back and neck injuries, and soft-tissue injuries.

Liability in Texas Car Accidents

Texas is a fault-based insurance state. In multi-vehicle accidents involving two or more drivers, it’s necessary to prove fault and liability on the part of a negligent driver in order to recover compensation for damages.

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