Car Accident
Greg Prosmushkin
Sep 22, 2022

Car accidents are common and can happen anywhere. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), police-reported crashes for three consecutive years were 6,734,000 in 2018, 6,453,000 in 2017, and 6,821,000 in 2016. 

These data suggest that there are over 18,000 accidents in the country each day. However, since there are endless different car accident fault scenarios, it’s critical to determine who caused a collision.

Five Types of Common Car Accidents

Let’s take a rundown of 5 types of car crash scenarios and the factors that determine who the at-fault party is. 

  • Scenario 1: Rear-end accidents
  • Scenario 2: Left-hand turn collisions
  • Scenario 3: Driver ran a red light
  • Scenario 4: Parking lot accidents
  • Scenario 5: Head-on collisions

Scenario 1: Rear-End Accident

These types of car accidents are among the most common and occur when one car runs into another car from behind. It involves the front end of the trailing car and the rear end of the leading car. Some rear-end accidents are considered minor and are deemed “fender-benders.”

The severity of injuries, and thus the negotiation with the insurance companies, will vary depending on the damages. As per reports of the NHTSA, nearly half of two-vehicle crashes between 2012 and 2014 were rear-end collisions. The primary cause is attributed to driver’s negligence.   

In most cases, the at-fault party is the rear driver due to following too close, driving too fast, or driving carelessly. However, do not think that if you are a rear driver you will be blamed in all circumstances. A front driver can also be careless for many reasons, including braking suddenly. Furthermore, it all depends on what is uncovered by the investigation. 

Drivers must be cautious of their surroundings and maintain a safe distance from other cars. Even if another driver is not driving carefully, the other driver must be careful to apply brakes at the right time. This limits tailgating accidents.

Common locations where rear-end crashes can happen are stoplights, parking lots, and freeways. These types of accidents, while common, cause catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, whiplash, and even wrongful death. There may also be third-party liability due to different variables such as mechanical defects, road defects, and more.

Scenario 2: Left-Hand Turn Collision

Left-turn car accident situations happen when one vehicle is going straight and the other vehicle is taking a left turn. The two vehicles collided on the side of the vehicle that was making a left turn. Similar to rear-end crashes; it’s imperative to determine fault in such cases.

Oftentimes, the vehicle that is taking the left turn is blamed. As per research from the NHTSA, the left-turning driver can commit mistakes including failing to yield, taking a turn with a misjudgment of speed or obstructed view, or inappropriate surveillance. These false assumptions can lead to serious injury and even death.

It’s also possible that these collisions occur due to the driver who was moving straight. This can happen due to factors such as speeding or inappropriate judging of a green arrow at an intersection.

Scenario 3: Driver Ran A Red Light

Drivers running the red light violate traffic laws. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), 939 fatalities happened due to running red lights in the year 2017. This is an increase of 28% from 2012.  

Running a red light can also cause T-Bone collisions, also known as broadside or sideswipe collisions. It happens when the front side of the car hits the side of another vehicle. The driver who runs the red light is considered at fault in these scenarios as their negligence led to the collision. 

Some of the most common reasons for these types of crashes are when the driver is in a hurry and is speeding, is driving under the influence (DUI), or is driving distractedly. All these can reduce the driver’s ability to concentrate and make decisions appropriately. Excessive use of smartphones is also one of the primary causes of distracted driving. 

It is unacceptable on the part of the driver to run a red light, and it’s also against the law. Furthermore, it can cause injuries including head injuries, neck injuries, broken bones, and other internal injuries.

Scenario 4: Parking Lot Accident

Most parking lot collisions occur at low speeds and cause relatively minor injuries. However, low-speed collisions can still sometimes cause serious injuries such as soft tissue damage, neck injuries, and others. Some parking lot accident scenarios include:

Driver hitting while exiting a parking space: In such a scenario, the driver coming out (or backing out) of the space will commonly be considered at fault. However, a driver must be given enough space to easily exit the space.   

Vehicles collide when entering the same parking space: There may be an argument between two drivers who want to park their vehicle in the same space. In such a situation, it can be complex to solve the issue and determine who is at fault. 

There can also be other situations, such as when two vehicles are moving at the end of an aisle or when a driver is moving to park the car in a space. If drivers are ever in a car crash situation where they are unable to move their car, such as when two vehicles are blocking them in, it’s important for them to call 911 and get help from law enforcement.

Scenario 5: Head-On Collision

One of the most severe motor vehicle collisions is a head-on crash. In 2017, 56% of passenger deaths were caused by head-on accidents according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). 

When two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide, such types of devastating frontal impact collisions occur. Fundamental causes of such crashes can be attributed to drivers who are violating traffic rules, or drivers going in the wrong direction. 

The fault is relatively easy to determine if a driver goes in the wrong direction. This can occur when a driver is confused as to which way to exit. It can also happen due to distracted driving, or of course, from driving while intoxicated (DWI). 

These many different scenarios indicate that there are many ways you can hold a party liable. However, a Philadelphia accident lawyer is the best person who can identify all the potentially negligent parties in an accident.