When you think of a car accident, you may imagine a specific type of accident: a car crashing through an intersection, for example, or a car rear-ending you at a red light or stop sign. Most types of car accidents have the potential to cause serious injury to all parties involved: drivers of both vehicles, passengers in the vehicle, or pedestrians or cyclists involved in an accident. Some types of accidents, however, have more serious potential for injury than others. Understanding common types of Boca Raton car accidents can help you better understand what occurred during your accident, and how it will affect your claim moving forward.
According to the NHTSA, 85 percent of vehicle rollover accidents occur in single-driver accidents. Sometimes, other drivers may push the vehicle off the road, often in a violent manner. When the vehicle's front tires clip a curb, hit grass, or cannot hold the vehicle on the road due to a steep incline, the vehicle may roll. Environmental factors often contribute heavily to vehicle rollover accidents, including the conditions of the road, weather conditions, and improperly graded roads. Alcohol consumption may significantly increase the risk of a rollover accident, since drivers under the influence of alcohol are less likely to control their vehicle as it starts to go off the road.
Other factors that can contribute to rollover accidents include:
- Top-heavy vehicles, especially those with improper designs.
- Mechanical errors in the vehicle, including brakes that do not work as intended.
- Reckless drivers who push your vehicle off the road or force you to act improperly.
- Poor road arrangement due to construction or other factors.
Most of the time, when you think about rear-end collisions, you likely imagine a driver sitting at a stop sign or red light. The front car remains stationary as the driver waits for another vehicle to pass or for the light to change. As they wait, another car strikes them from behind.
Not all rear-end collisions, however, occur at stop signs or red lights. Rear-end collisions may occur anywhere on the road. A driver who stops too abruptly may give the driver behind them inadequate time to stop, resulting in a rear-end collision. Conversely, the rear driver may choose to follow too closely or change lanes too fast, decreasing their own response time and leading to an accident. Failure to pay attention to what's going on in front of them, including driving while distracted, can also increase the odds that a driver will strike the car in front of them.
When the front of one car strikes the side of another, it creates a T-bone accident. Often, t-bones, or side collisions, cause devastating injuries. The side of the car lacks the protections of the front and rear of the car, so drivers and passengers on the damaged side of the vehicle may suffer broken bones, spinal cord damage, or traumatic brain injury at high rates. Often, side collisions occur when drivers fail to pay appropriate attention. The responsible driver may fly through an intersection or fail to notice an oncoming vehicle. The driver might fail to note or follow common traffic signals, or they might neglect to yield to other vehicles. Side collisions may quickly total both vehicles involved in the crash as well as causing significant injury to both drivers and passengers.
Two cars are traveling parallel to one another when one car slides into the other, causing sideswipe damage. Unlike a T-bone accident, in a sideswipe collision, one car does not strike the other head-on. Both cars and people may suffer minimal damage in a sideswipe collision: for example, the collision might knock a mirror off of the car or dent the side of a door. In other cases, however, sideswipe accidents may cause significant damage, including broken bones, amputations, and spinal cord trauma. The extent of the damage typically depends on the severity of the crash.
Sideswipe accidents can occur in both cars that travel in the same direction in separate lanes and cars that travel in opposite directions. Often, sideswipe accidents occur because one driver drifts out of their lane because of inattention or distracted driving. Sideswipe accidents may also occur due to one driver swerving away from something in the road, a pedestrian, or a pothole without allowing adequate room. When their vehicle crosses into the other lane, they strike the vehicle close to them.
In a head-on collision, the front of one vehicle directly strikes the front of another vehicle. If both vehicles move forward at the time of the accident, the combined acceleration of both vehicles factors into the severity of the crash. In many cases, head-on collisions result in fatalities. Even when head-on collisions do not cause fatalities, they may cause substantial injury: traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, amputations, paralysis, and broken bones. Recovery from head-on collisions may take longer than recovery from other types of accidents.
Single Vehicle Accidents
In a single vehicle accident, only one car suffers damage. The driver may run off the road or drive into a stationary object. Many circumstances can contribute to single-vehicle accidents, including:
- Mechanical failure of the vehicle
- Failure to properly maintain the vehicle, including keeping up with oil changes, tire rotation, and tire replacement
- Driver distraction
- Excessive rates of speed
- Poor weather conditions
Multi-vehicle accidents involve more than two cars. Often, multi-vehicle accidents occur on highways and in intersections, where cars are more likely to pile up in large numbers. During a multi-vehicle accident, often, a single vehicle accident or accident between two drivers triggers a chain reaction. The chain reaction could begin with one car slamming on their breaks and getting hit from behind: the next car in line might then strike the rear vehicle. A car could plow through an intersection, pushing the first car it hits into another vehicle. Multi-vehicle accidents often involve serious injuries, especially for drivers and passengers in a vehicle struck more than once.
Determining fault in multi-vehicle accidents offers an additional layer of complexity. The driver who initially caused the accident may bear significant responsibility, but the actions of other drivers may also contribute to the crash. Working with a lawyer will help most accident victims more effectively determine who bears responsibility in the case of a multi-vehicle accident.
Hit and Run Accidents
In a hit and run accident, one vehicle strikes another, or a pedestrian, cyclist, or stationary object, and the driver chooses to leave the scene of the accident. Hit and run accidents typically cause fairly minor damage to the vehicles involved, since the responsible driver is able to leave the scene. Unfortunately, hit and run accidents may cause devastating injuries for pedestrians and cyclists, who have little protection from the vehicle or from the pavement. Legally, drivers may leave the scene of an accident if they:
- Need to seek immediate medical attention and cannot wait for an ambulance
- Feel that remaining at the scene poses a physical danger
- Need to take someone else to seek medical attention
- Need to leave the scene of the accident to summon the police or other assistance
If a driver leaves the scene of an accident for any other reason, they may be charged with a hit and run. Often, hit and runs have significant legal penalties.
Many of the nation's highways see a great deal of truck traffic every day. Truck drivers must pass detailed qualification exams in order to drive big trucks on the road. Typically, truck drivers keep a heavy focus on safety, but they may struggle with fatigue, long hours behind the wheel, and distractions like cell phones and eating in the vehicle. Unfortunately, truck accidents can cause devastating consequences for the other vehicles involved in the crash. Truck accidents often involve substantial injuries, including paralysis, amputation, and traumatic brain injury.
Avoiding Common Causes of Accidents
You may struggle to avoid accident risks completely. Sideswipe accidents, t-bone accidents, head-on collisions: all can occur out of nowhere, with little or no time for you to react. Still, you can use several tactics to help avoid common accident causes and reduce your likelihood of accident involvement.
- Avoid distractions behind the wheel. Most people know that cell phones can pose a potent distraction behind the wheel, whether you use them to answer a phone call, check a text message, or navigate to an unfamiliar destination with your GPS. Other distractions behind the wheel, however, can prove just as dangerous as texting and driving. Avoid eating and drinking behind the wheel, especially messy foods. Do your makeup and hair before leaving home, rather than attempting to accomplish these things on the road. If you have passengers in your vehicle, avoid turning your full attention to them while driving. Driving distracted reduces your ability to respond to common road hazards, slows your reaction time, and increases your odds of an accident.
- Try to stay off the road during poor weather conditions. You don't always have a choice about driving in the rain, especially if you need to get to work or school. If weather conditions deteriorate, however, look for ways to avoid the roads. If rain falls too heavily for you to see, for example, pull off the road and wait for the worst of the rain to pass: in most cases, driving rain only lasts for a few minutes before lightening.
- Follow the rules of the road. Reckless driving and speeding pose two of the biggest dangers on the road and can cause serious accidents with injuries. When you drive, pay attention to traffic signals. Stop appropriately at red lights, rather than trying to race the yellow light or dart through an intersection even though the light turned red before you reached it. Avoid excessive speeds. Most of the time, speeding will not get you to your destination that much faster—and if you hit another car along the way, you may lose more time than anticipated. Also, avoid tailgating other vehicles. While tailgating offers a simple way to let other drivers know that you find them too slow, it also significantly increases your risk of striking them if they need to stop suddenly.
- Maintain your vehicle. Basic vehicle maintenance can go a long way toward helping you avoid many common accident causes. Tires with full treads, for example, better hold the road, while a car with a properly-tuned engine won't stall at just the wrong moment. If your vehicle needs repairs, take care of them as soon as possible. Schedule oil changes and other basic maintenance regularly to ensure that your vehicle does not pose a hazard to others on the road. Also, make sure that you register your vehicle and pay attention to recalls that could potentially impact your vehicle.
- Never drive under the influence. Like distraction, driving under the influence can cause you to miss events on the road around you. Drugs and alcohol may slow your reaction time or make it difficult for you to remember how to respond if something happens while you drive. If you have had even one drink, avoid driving until it has had time to wear off. If you must travel after drinking, summon an Uber or Lyft vehicle, use a taxi, or use public transportation to reach your destination.
- Know the hazards in your area. Accident risks often increase when you are close to home. Get to know your local area. Know when to slow down to avoid animal crossings and which streets are known for people speeding. When you know the area, you will likely pay better attention, which can help decrease your risk of an accident.
Do You Need a Boca Raton Car Accident Attorney?
If you suffered significant injuries in a car accident, from a rollover to a rear-end collision, you may need legal representation to help you navigate the legal system and increase the odds that you will receive the compensation you deserve. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we work with our clients to provide dedicated service that will help identify the damages you suffered after your car accident and pursue the compensation you deserve. Do you need a car accident attorney in Boca Raton? If so, contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, online or call today at (561) 220-4963. We can set up your free consultation and help you learn more about your rights following an accident.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
301 Yamato Road, Suite 1240
Boca Raton, FL, 33431
What Our Clients Have to Say:
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