Types of Accidents

Car and truck accidents include many types of accidents described the location of the impact. There is no good type of accident. All are dangerous and potentially deadly.

I got involved in reconstructing vehicle accidents in 1996. It was an opportunity for me to use my skills as a logical thinker and my ability to gather pieces of data for solving problems. I have investigated all types of accidents.

Some of the most serious accidents usually involve heavy-trucks. It is very difficult for a 4,000 pound car to have much chance in a collision with a big rig. The MO (momentum) is on the side of the big rig. They can be up to 20 times heavier than a small car.

Some of the most tragic accidents are ones with young people which have been killed or mangled for life. Kids that are just beginning their life and because of a decision made in a split second, they end up dead.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions are usually the result of one driver crossing the centerline of the roadway and colliding with the oncoming vehicle. The approach speeds can be tremendous. Two vehicles traveling at a 60 mph speed limit are approaching each other at 120 mph.

These vehicles produce a lot of kinetic energy at this speed and the driver and passengers rarely survive.

A few years ago I investigated a head-on collision in which the vehicles with squarely lined up. The center of mass of one vehicle was traveling directly at the center of mass of the second vehicle. The vehicles collided; the front end of each vehicle crushed, rotated just a minor amount and came to a stop almost instantly.

The accident occurred at the intersection with a side road. Initially, it was assumed that one vehicle came out of the side road. Upon investigation, we determined that this was a head-on collision. The clue to determining that this was not an angled impact or a 90 degree impact was the fact that the vehicles did not rotate.

The cause of head-on collisions is usually the driver get distracted and crosses the centerline.

Rear-End Collisions

Another common type of accident is the read-end collision. They occur when one vehicle crashes into the vehicle in front of it.

Many times rear-end collisions occur in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Morning and afternoon rush hour traffic are ripe time for these types of accidents. It is easy to get distracted and not realize the vehicle in front of you has applied his brakes and is stopped. Before you can apply your brakes, you hit the car in the rear.

Other causes of rear-end collisions are following too close and misjudging the acceleration speed of the leading vehicle and lack of attention.

The driver of the car that rear-ends the lead car is usually considered to be at fault. He has not allowed enough space between the vehicles to stop or was distracted.

Side-Impact Collisions

Side-impact collisions are sometimes called a "T-bone" collision. They occur when the side of a vehicle is impacted by front end or the rear end of another vehicle.

Side impacts occur at intersections, driveways, parking lots and when a vehicle is making a left turn coming out of a side street. Vehicle damage and occupant injury can be severe in these types of accidents because the side has less protection to the occupants as compared to the front of a vehicle.

List of Types of Accidents

  • Head-On Collisions
  • Impacts at an Angle
  • Rear End Collisions
  • Side Swipes
  • T-bone Collisions
  • Truck Underride Collisions
  • Rollovers, Vault and Falls
  • Hydroplaning
  • Fixed Objects (trees, telephone poles, barrier walls etc.)
  • Accidents involving Roadway Obstacles and Debris
  • Construction Work Zone Accidents
  • Run off the Road
  • Pedestrian
  • Bicycle
  • Motorcycle
  • Trains & Railroad Crossing
  • Animals (deers, livestock, etc.)
Our experts can help with many types of accidents, including forensic reconstruction.

Our forensic engineers are experienced in analyzing these types of accidents. A collision analysis can be performed to determine how the accident happened and provide the answers of how the accident happened.

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