What Are The Most Common Types of Car Accidents?

We all spend a great deal of time on the road every day. Most Americans receive their driver’s license at age 16 and from that point forward, we are always driving- to school, to work and to visit friends and family. 

And because we all spend so much time on the road, we are all subject to the occasional car accident. The 5 most common types of car accidents are, unfortunately, something we will all experience.

Tampa car accident attorneys work hard to ensure that each accident is handled with care and injured parties receive the compensation they deserve.  

Knowing more about these car accidents and their common causes will hopefully increase your awareness and prevent you from falling into common traps.    

car accident

Side Impact Collisions


A side impact collision is also known as a T-bone collision or a broadside accident. Simply put, a side impact occurs when one car collides with the side of another.

In 2018, side impact collisions accounted for 18% of all vehicle passenger deaths in Florida. [1]   Side impacts are particularly dangerous because there is less space on the side of a vehicle to absorb the impact of the crash or shield the passengers. 

Side impacts are common at traffic lights and stop signs. It’s important not to rush through intersections, especially those close to your home or place of employment.

It’s easy for us to get into a comfortable pattern and rush through these intersections which is what causes these avoidable car accidents.  

Merging Traffic Accidents


 A merging traffic accident is defined as a collision caused when two cars merge into a single lane and sideswipe one another.  

The most common causes are: the merging motorist was entering the highway too fast or too slow; made a lane change without using his or her turn signal; crossed over multiple lanes when merging or changing lanes or off other vehicles to merge or make a lane change. 

It’s important to maintain a reasonable speed when merging and use your indicator to alert other drivers of your intention to merge.  

Rear End Collision


Rear end collisions are the most frequent types of accidents that occur on U.S. roads.   These collisions account for 29% of all accidents on the road [1].

These are typically caused by distracted drivers or drivers that do not leave enough distance between themselves and the car ahead of them, also known as tailgating [2]. 

Rear collisions may be the most preventable, yet common, cause of car accidents. Simply leaving enough room between your car and the car in front of you or avoiding any distracted driving could drastically decrease the number of rear end collisions.    

Head On Collision

arrowHead on collisions are probably the most dangerous of all car accident types, and often fatal because these accidents happen at high speeds making it difficult for the airbag, seatbelt, and other safety features to absorb the impact.  

A head on collision may involve animals, trees, road signs, or any other fixed obstacle. Car on car collisions are almost always the cause of a driver under the influence swerving into lanes or traveling down the road into oncoming traffic. 

Driving under the influence is illegal in Florida and the entire United States. But still, the practice is far too common.

You can avoid head on collisions caused by impaired drivers by paying close attention to other drivers, especially during hours when drivers are more likely to be impaired.  

Multi-Vehicle Accidents


Multi-vehicle crashes involve 3 or more cars, which tend to happen on busy freeways, highways, and roads. These are commonly called pile-ups and will happen more frequently during times of limited visibility, like fogs or rain storms.  

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), found that more than 13,000 fatalities occurred in multi-vehicle accidents involving passenger cars—accounting for more than 40% of motor vehicle accidents annually.  

It is always so important to focus on the road and on surrounding vehicles. These accidents can happen quickly.


We advised all drivers to keep an eye on the cars and drivers around you. If another driver seems distracted or tends to make some dangerous maneuvers, it is best to move away from them so that you can avoid getting involved in an imminent collision.  Speak to a car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach.

Have questions? Call our accident attorneys at (800) 560-5059 anytime,
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Sources: [1]: Driving Behaviors Reported For Drivers And Motorcycle Operators Involved In Fatal Crashes, 2018 [2]: Report From The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration

About The Author

Michael Steinger

Michael Steinger

The Florida BarFlorida Bar Young Lawyers DivisionMillion Dollar Advocates ForumMillion Dollar Advocates ForumBest Workers Compensation Attorneys in MiamiBest Car Accident Lawyers in MiamiLawyers of distinction

MICHAEL S. STEINGER, founding partner of Steinger, Greene & Feiner, believes in representing real people, not big businesses. Since the firm’s creation in 1997, Steinger, Greene & Feiner has never represented an insurance company or large corporation, and he vows to keep this promise. Over the course of his career, Michael has handled thousands of Florida accident cases, recovering millions of dollars for his clients and earning him membership into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving laws protecting injury victims and their families, Michael is an active member of the American Bar Association, the Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Bar Associations, and sits on the Auto Insurance Committee of the Florida Justice Association.