Every year in California, traffic accidents cause around 4,000 fatalities and 300,000 injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol traffic accident report. Motor vehicle-related deaths are a major problem all across the country. California is among the top ten states for the highest traffic accident rates.
The California highway system traverses over 16,000 miles of roadway networks. Many of the deadliest stretches of highway are located in Southern California. This means it is very likely you have or will be involved in a local traffic accident. To prevent this, it is important to understand the different types of traffic accidents that can occur.
When an accident does happen, the type of accident will determine how it gets investigated and what kind of compensation you can claim. Keep reading to learn about the most common types of traffic accidents. This guide will teach you how to avoid a traffic accident as well as what to do after an accident happens.
Although a single-car accident only involves one vehicle, the accident is not always the fault of the driver. Over 2,000 single-car accidents occur in California each year. This type of traffic accident can occur because a driver runs off the road to avoid hitting something. It could be an animal, an errant driver coming in the other direction, or debris on the road.
In other cases, brake failure or exhaustion is the culprit. When this happens, vehicles often end up in the ditch, rolled over, or wrapped around a guardrail or telephone pole.
How to Avoid a Single-Car Accident
The best thing you can do to prevent a single-car accident is to drive slowly. This is especially important when driving around a curve. You should also take caution when approaching a blind corner or unmarked intersection.
Multiple Vehicle Collision
Another common and highly destructive type of traffic accident is a multiple vehicle collision. A multiple vehicle collision can quickly develop into a chain reaction accident.
Most often, these types of accidents occur after one vehicle hits another from behind, sending that vehicle crashing into the vehicle ahead of them. This chain reaction can involve three or more vehicles.
Sometimes it leads to major pileups involving several vehicles. They often result in significant injuries and fatalities. There can also be a lot of confusion over who is at fault. In some cases, the negligence of a singular driver may be the cause of the accident. In other instances, the fault for the accident rests with several careless drivers.
How to Avoid a Multiple Vehicle Collision
To avoid a multiple vehicle collision, maintain situational awareness and distance from other drivers on the road. Avoid tailgating and always slow down when in a low-visibility situation.
Getting out of your vehicle during a pileup can sometimes result in more serious injuries. If you can, try to maneuver your vehicle to the side of the road. If this is not possible, stay in your vehicle and call 911 for help.
Rear-end collisions are some of the most common types of car accidents. In fact, nearly 30 percent of all car crashes in the United States are rear-end collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The most common causes of rear-end collisions are inattentive driving, weather conditions, sudden stops, and tailgating.
How to Avoid a Rear-End Collision
To avoid a rear-end collision, maintain an appropriate distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Focus on driving and don’t allow yourself to get distracted by phones or other passengers.
When you need to brake, do it slowly. Always make sure your brake lights are working. It’s also a good idea to be aware of the weather conditions. If the road is wet, you are more likely to skid when braking. Maintaining the traction on your tires will be a significant help as well.
Side Impact Collision
Side impact collisions occur when one vehicle gets hit on the side by the front end of another vehicle. This is different from a sideswipe, which is when two cars moving in a parallel direction come into contact with one another.
Side impact collisions frequently occur at intersections. That means there is a good chance of a bystander witnessing the accident. Of course, this isn’t always the case.
How to Avoid a Side Impact Collision
The best way to avoid a side impact collision is to slow down whenever you approach an intersection. It’s important to do this whether or not you have the right of way. You can’t be certain other drivers are alert and following the rules of traffic.
Head-on collisions are some of the deadliest types of traffic accidents. This is because they happen when two vehicles collide while moving in opposite directions. Often these collisions occur when vehicles are traveling at high speeds. It could happen on a two-lane highway if one vehicle swerves out of its lane. In extreme cases, a vehicle may even jump a median and barrel into oncoming traffic.
How to Avoid a Head-On Collision
To avoid head-on collisions, always stay in your lane. Keep aware of traffic signs and street conditions. If another driver moves into your lane coming from the opposite direction, steer your vehicle to the right to avoid an accident.
What to Do After a Car Accident
If something unfortunate happens and you are involved in a car accident, the first thing to do is to assess yourself for injuries and call 911. The police will file a report and investigate the scene. Make sure to exchange information with any other drivers involved in the accident.
If you are injured, wait for medical help to arrive. It is important that you get a medical examination as soon as possible to get treatment and document your injuries.
Once you’ve taken care of these things, contact a traffic accident lawyer to handle your case. An experienced lawyer will help you file a personal injury claim, collect evidence, and negotiate an appropriate settlement.
Consult a Traffic Accident Lawyer
Traffic accidents today are growing more common and more deadly as the number of drivers on the road continues to increase in California. Getting into a traffic accident is very likely, especially if you live in the southern part of the state.
Whether you were in a single-car accident, multiple vehicle collision, or any of the other types we discussed, Heritage Accident Lawyers can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.