7 Common Types of Traffic Accidents

As a driver, it's essential to know the rules and abide by them to prevent traffic accidents.
car crash accident on street, damaged automobiles after collision in city

When it comes to traffic accidents, there are a lot of different things that can go wrong. Some accidents are more common than others, and understanding which types of traffic accidents you’re likely to encounter can help you prepare for the worst-case scenarios. 

In addition, knowing a traffic accident lawyer is advisable if you get into trouble with traffic laws. As a driver, it’s essential to know the rules and abide by them to prevent traffic accidents. Here are the seven most common types:

1. Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions are the deadliest type of traffic accident. In a head-on collision, two vehicles collide when one or both drivers lose control, probably due to distractions or intoxication.

This is why it’s essential to avoid distractions while driving. If you get distracted by your phone or other devices and drift into another lane, there could be someone else’s vehicle in your way, and that person might not be paying attention either. This can lead to a devastating head-on collision that could cost both drivers their lives as well as any passengers riding with them at the time. 

2. Sideswipe Accidents

Sideswipe accidents happen when one driver makes a sudden lane change or swerves into another lane of traffic without checking their blind spots. Sideswipe accidents are often caused by one driver drifting into another lane due to drowsiness or speeding.

In addition to the increased likelihood of sideswipe accidents occurring in rural areas, foggy conditions also contribute to an increased number of sideswipe collisions. Fog reduces visibility and can make it difficult for drivers to see other vehicles around them; this makes them more likely to turn into the path of another driver’s car without realizing they’re doing so until it’s too late, and then they’ll often collide with the side of the other car instead of its front end or rear bumper. 

3. Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident. They are caused by a driver who’s following too closely to the vehicle in front or by a driver who’s distracted by something inside the car at the time of impact. 

Rear-end collisions often result in damaged vehicles, minor injuries, deaths, and severe injuries requiring hospitalization.

4. Left-Turn Accidents

Left-turn accidents occur when a driver fails to yield to oncoming straight traffic and turns left. Left-turn accidents are usually the result of drivers who aren’t paying attention to the road ahead and fail to yield to an oncoming vehicle. 

Left-turn accidents often involve distracted drivers, such as those using their cell phones or other devices while driving. They’re also caused by drivers who fail to yield for oncoming traffic, often because they turn left from a side street onto a major thoroughfare and don’t realize how fast cars are moving along that route.

5. Single-Vehicle Accidents

Single-vehicle accidents are a type of accident that occurs when a driver loses control of their vehicle and crashes. Single-vehicle accidents are the most common type of crash. They only occur when one vehicle is involved in an accident, and no other vehicles or people are involved.

Single-vehicle accidents can also be caused when the driver of a vehicle loses control and crashes into another object or person. The driver can also be injured in a single-vehicle accident, even if they don’t hit anything else.

Single vehicle accidents are more likely caused by speeding and other aggressive behavior like running red lights or weaving through traffic at high speeds.

6. Multi-Vehicle Accidents

Multi-vehicle accidents are a common form of a traffic accident that is caused by several factors. They often occur when one driver causes another to swerve out of the way or collisions with other cars or objects. 

Multi-vehicle accidents can also occur due to road design or maintenance issues such as potholes or ice patches in winter; poor visibility due to bad weather conditions; low visibility to darkness or foggy conditions (particularly during early morning hours).

7. Rollover Accidents

A rollover accident is when a vehicle’s wheels lose contact with the ground, causing it to flip over. Rollovers are especially dangerous because they can lead to the ejection of the vehicle’s occupants. 

Rollovers are one of the most dangerous accidents because they can lead to severe injuries, especially when occupants aren’t wearing seat belts. If you’re involved in a car accident, it’s important to remember that you may need to remove yourself from the vehicle or try to get help.


Drivers must understand how these various causes can play out on the road. Even if you’re not involved in an accident directly, there’s always a chance that another driver may lose control and cause damage or injury near where you’re driving. Knowing what kind of accident could happen next time and how you can prevent it can help keep everyone safe.

Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.