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Common Types of Car Accidents

Every 10 seconds, a car wrecks on a U.S. roadway.1 In many instances, these car accidents are caused by some type of human error. The following presents a closer look at some of the ways human mistakes tend to contribute to the most common types of car accidents in the U.S.

We encourage you to keep reading to learn more about common types of car accidents. And we invite you to contact a Denver auto accident attorney at Dormer Harpring for compassionate support and effective help if you’ve been hurt in any type of car accident. Our lawyers are here for you, ready to listen and help.

Common Kinds of Car Crashes

  • Rear-end collisions – About 1 in every 3 traffic crashes is a rear-end collision, making this type of auto accident more common than any other type.2 Most commonly, rear-end collisions occur where multiple vehicles converge – such as at intersections. In many cases, driver inattention plays a role in causing these crashes.
  • Rollovers – As one of the deadliest types of car accidents, rollovers account for about 35 percent of all traffic-related fatalities that occur each year in the U.S.3 When driver mistakes or errors contribute to rollovers, they generally come in the form of reckless driving, distracted driving, speeding, and/or drunk driving. It is important to note, however, that vehicle factors (like higher centers of gravity for some SUVs) can also increase the risk of rollovers.
  • Head-on collisions – Also often deadly, head-on crashes account for nearly 1 in every 5 traffic-related deaths in the U.S. These types of car accidents can occur when drivers are trying to pass other vehicles and misjudge the timing; they can also occur when drunk or distracted drivers fail to focus on the roads (and their vehicles veer into oncoming lanes of traffic).
  • Intersection accidents – Commonly involving fender-benders and pedestrian accidents, intersection crashes tend to occur at lower speeds when motorists are not focused on their driving environment. Intersection accidents also commonly occur when drivers fail to follow traffic laws and even when certain environmental factors (like a lack of traffic lights or broken signals) are present.
  • Sideswipes and side-impact crashes – Sideswipes tend to be more minor types of car accidents; in contrast, side-impact (or T-bone) collisions can be far more serious, possibly causing rollovers at higher speeds. As with other types of car accidents, driver misconduct like distraction, impairment, or failure to comply with traffic laws is also often involved in sideswipes and T-bone crashes.
  • Drunk driving accidents – A drunk driver causes an injury-related crash every 2 minutes in the U.S. Although the incidence of drunk driving has mostly declined over the past decade or so (falling about 33 percent since 2007)4, impaired driving is still a big problem. Even at BACs as low as 0.08 (i.e., the legal limit in every state), the risk of a car crash can quadruple, according to federal data.
  • Distracted driving crashes – About 23 percent of all traffic accidents in the U.S. involve driver distraction. Although any multitasking while driving can be a source of distraction, texting and talking on cellphones while driving is one of the most prominent forms of distraction for modern motorists. And studies have shown that distracted drivers tend to be as dangerous as drunk drivers.

Contact an Auto Accident Attorney at Dormer Harpring

If you have been hurt in any type of car crash, contact a Denver car accident attorney at Dormer Harpring for personalized representation and support as you get onto the path towards recovery.

You can call us at (303) 747-4404 or email us via the contact form on this page. We’re committed to representing people from all walks of life, and we know not everyone can afford to pay hourly legal fees up-front. With that in mind, we never charge for a consultation, and we offer contingent fee contracts, meaning we charge our legal fees based only on the amount we recover.

From offices based in Denver, our attorneys provide exceptional representation to people throughout Denver County, Adams County, Boulder County, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County, and the state of Colorado.


1: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

2: According to an NHTSA report

3: According to NHTSA data

4: According to this NHTSA study