Top 12 Most Common Car Accidents

Car accidents in the U.S. injure about 2.35 million people every year, and there are around 37,000 fatalities that result from car accidents. The monetary costs are astronomical, running about $230.6 billion per year. It is important for drivers to know what the most common car accidents are, so they can be alert to those particular dangers and hopefully be better able to avoid being involved in those types of accidents.

There are two basic accident causes:

  • Driver Error – mistakes occur due to distracted driving, inexperience, speeding, DUI/DWI, inappropriate reaction to road hazards or warnings, ignoring traffic laws, etc.
  • Everything Else – faulty equipment or defective parts failures, animal collisions, road hazards, weather-related accidents and more.

Accidents Due to Driver Error

This is a huge category, related to most vehicle accidents. Accidents due to driver error include actions that are deliberate and those that are accidental, but preventable. Examples include speeding, running red lights, driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, and driving while fatigued. One of the major elements in a personal injury case for accident injuries caused by negligent behavior is care of duty. When a driver does not use reasonable care to prevent accidents that should be foreseeable, they are negligent.

For example, running a stop sign, making an illegal turn or speeding are actions that result in an accident. A driver should know that when they disobey or ignore traffic laws, drive while fatigued or consume too much alcohol, they put other drivers and pedestrians in jeopardy of being injured due to their negligent behavior. A responsible driver obeys all traffic laws and takes extra caution as needed in areas of potential danger, such as work zones or intersections.

Other Accident Causes

Accidents often have other causes besides driver error. Hazards contribute to millions of accident injuries and deaths each year. Construction zones, roadway hazards like potholes or bumps or unmarked areas of dangerous conditions give drivers a big challenge when it comes to controlling their vehicles. See San Diego construction accident attorneys. The weather can change quickly and turn roadways into skating rinks in icy winter weather or cause vehicles to hydroplane during hard rains. Animals jump out from nowhere and get hit by passing vehicles, causing damages and sometimes injury or death to drivers and passengers.

As if the damage to vehicles and humans is not bad enough, some accidents are more likely than others to raise your insurance rates. According to a survey by, insurance rates rose higher when someone hit a tree rather than an animal. The animals are unpredictable; the tree should have been noticed and avoided.

Top 12 Most Common Car Accidents

By far, the most common type of car accident is where one vehicle collides with another. Here are the leaders, according to statistics complied by, as they analyzed over 42,000 online auto insurance quotes from September 2011 through early February 2013.

  1. Driver struck another car – 22.7%
  2. Driver was struck by another car – 22.2%
  3. Single car accidents – 7.9%
  4. Acts of nature – weather related – 5.8%
  5. Driver ran into a parked car or tree – 5.4%
  6. Driver’s car was struck while it was parked – 5.0%
  7. Road hazard; debris, potholes – 2.9%
  8. Vandalism – 2.4%
  9. Animal collisions – 2.4%
  10. Broken windshield or glass – 2.2%
  11. Theft of car or parts – 1.5%
  12. Driver hit a pedestrian – 0.4%

It is fairly obvious that any accident involving moving vehicles will result in higher damages and injuries. Drivers who make errors, including driving while distracted, are the most likely to cause harm to other drivers, pedestrians and property. Parts failures due to defects is another element that contributes to the car accident totals.

Avoiding Common Car Accidents

Drivers should know what the most common car accidents are, so they can actively try to avoid being caught in those situations. One benefit from having low or zero rates for accidents is lower insurance costs. Little actions can have big benefits. For example, your car is less likely to be subject to vandalism or theft just by parking in well-lit areas or protected zones like your own garage, a supervised parking area or in an area that is not remote.

A driver who drives defensively, as recommended by driver education courses, is more likely to not be involved in vehicle-to-vehicle collisions. When you are aware of the traffic around you and what they are doing, you will notice suspicious or dangerous activities or situations that might cause an accident. If you are distracted by passengers, cell phones, GPS monitors, or texting, you are more likely to become injured in an accident due to negligence.

CA Car Accident Attorney

If you are involved in a car accident, you may be able to file a Personal Injury accident complaint to obtain fair compensation for your injury expenses and other damages. Your CA Car Accident Attorney will work with you to reexamine the accident and to determine causes and proof of negligence by another driver or an equipment provider. Expert witnesses can recreate the accident scene and offer expert opinions about the cause of your accident.

It is essential to consult with your CA Car Accident Attorney immediately, because there are time limits for filing damage claims. Also, you want to provide your attorney with all important information about the accident, such as police reports, photographs, names of eye witnesses and information about other drivers who were involved in the accident. Provide all medical reports and invoices, plus any other information you have that evolved from this accident. You need to report to your insurance company, but do not make any agreements or settlements with those representatives. Insurance companies only want to minimize expenses for their company. Your attorney is the only one who will work on your behalf for maximum results.

With such a high number of drivers on the road, and almost 400,000 miles of roadways, California drivers are at a very high risk for becoming involved in a car accident. Constant vigilance is not always sufficient to keep you safe. When you are harmed, get immediate legal advice from an experienced San Diego Car Accident Attorney. They will fight for your rights and to obtain the best possible outcome from your case.