5 Most Common Types of Auto Accidents
Auto accidents are quite a common occurrence. When you consider how many millions of cars are on the roadway each passing second, it’s no wonder why we have so many crashes. In fact, you’ll probably have 3-4 accidents yourself within the span of your lifetime. Still, nearly every accident can be prevented and you can better your chances of never being in one by knowing the most common types of accidents and how to prevent them from happening.
Let’s take a look at the 5 most common types of auto accidents and how you can prevent them from happening to you.
Accident Type #1: The Rear-Ender
Rear-end accidents usually happen due to someone being distracted. It happens when one car rams into the back of another and accounts for 29% of all traffic accidents. Studies conducted on rear-end crashes predictably revealed that in most cases, someone wasn’t paying attention to what was going on in front of them. Their eyes were diverted and didn’t see there were other cars in front of them who had come to a stop.
To prevent a rear-end accident, you should always keep your attention forward, only glancing away for a second or two at a time to check your mirrors. Always be aware of your surroundings and refrain from being distracted by little things. If you need to answer the phone, pull over at a safe place to do it. Otherwise, it can wait.
Accident Type #2: The Parked Car
As embarrassing as it is, we’ve all probably hit a parked car at least once in our driving experience. If not, then you’re one of the lucky ones! But in tight spots, like mall or grocery store parking lots, it’s quite common for cars to hit or be hit, even when parked. As common as this is, there are several ways to prevent it from ever happening.
The first is by knowing the size of your vehicle. If you have a larger vehicle or if you want to prevent yourself from getting hit, then you might just have to make a parking sacrifice. Stay away from the front of establishments where most of the congestion happens. Everyone is always fighting for prime parking, so just park near the back and save yourself the hassle. By the time you find a spot near the front, you could’ve already parked and been inside.
Also, don’t just rely on mirrors. If you’re pulling into or out of a tight spot, get out and look.
Accident Type #3: The Crazy Animals
Sometimes it seems like animals WANT to get hit. You try to avoid them, but they run right into you head on. If you’ve never hit an animal on the road before, you’re lucky not to feel the guilt, frustration, and panic that comes with knowing you’re about to hit and possible kill this tiny woodland creature. You’re moving fast and they aren’t doing anything. Do you try to dodge it? Is someone driving to the immediately left so you can pull into that lane?
It’s obvious that animals won’t follow the rules of the road and they are even more clueless about what to do next than you are. The odds are, they will move first. The safest course of action is to not take any. Maintain your speed and keep moving forward. What often accounts for a minor situation can get out of hand if you swerve and hit the car next to you or you lose control altogether. In a lot of cases, the animal will take action to avoid you.
Accident Type #4: Getting Hit from the Side
According to statistics, side-crashes, otherwise known as “T-Bone” crashes, account for about 27% of all accidents. These occur mostly when someone is pulling out too soon or someone runs a light and gets hit directly on the side of the vehicle. T-bone crashes can be avoided simply by paying attention at intersections and not being in a rush. Don’t try to rush the light and respect that everyone gets a turn. Also, slow down before entering an intersection.
Accident Type #5: It’s Slick Out
It’s been estimated that as many as 1-in-6, or 22% of all accidents are caused by bad weather. You might be thinking there’s nothing you can do about bad weather, but there’s a lot you can do when the worst happens: stay home. Seriously, there are a lot of people who feel the need to go out during a major ice storm, blizzard, or other bad weather event and often regret it.
If you have no choice and can’t avoid the bad weather driving, then do yourself a favor and give it a lot of extra time and patience. Drive 20 MPH under the speed limit, allow for slick roads, don’t make any sudden maneuvers you’ll have to overcorrect from, and be prepared to make emergency stops. You never know if there’s another accident that stops all traffic or if someone else will lose control in front of you.
In order to keep the roads safe for everyone, we must follow the rules and drive as safely as possible. Always take your time and drive defensively rather than offensively. By paying attention to your surroundings and not becoming distracted, you can prevent the majority of accidents that might happen in your lifetime.