If you own a car or any motor vehicle for that matter, you need to know how big a responsibility it is to use these vehicles. Being an irresponsible driver can cost you your life or someone else’s. Motor vehicle accidents cause 1.3 million fatalities a year. That’s over 3,000 deaths per year globally. In the United States, these accidents caused almost 39,000 fatalities in 2019.
Although the number of fatalities has gone down since 2017, we can’t deny that 39,000 is still a big number. You can say that motor vehicle accidents are quite common, and that’s not a good thing. Here are some of the most common auto accidents, their causes, and what you should do if it were to happen to you or a loved one.
Single car accident
This is an accident that only involves one vehicle. It can happen when a driver hits a fixed object, such as a tree, post, street signs, animals, or fallen debris. But the most fatal kind of single-car or single-vehicle accident is a vehicle rollover. Rollovers usually happen due to speeding, driving under the influence, or certain environmental factors. This kind of accident usually occurs with trucks. In 2018, 45% of truck occupant deaths were caused by rollovers. While SUV occupant deaths caused by rollovers were at 42%.
A rear-end collision occurs when one vehicle collides with the rear-end of another vehicle. Most of the time, it’s usually the driver at the back who is at fault. It can happen either because they were distracted and not looking at the car in front of them. Or they accelerated without gauging the space in between the cars. The sad thing is the car in front is usually more severely injured than the car at the back who caused the collision.
On rare occasions, it may be the car in front who is at fault. Either because they brake suddenly, catching the car at the back off guard, or they accelerate in reverse without gauging the space between the cars.
Side-impact collisions are usually more fatal than rear-end collisions because there is less protection on the sides. Take note that not all cars are manufactured with side airbags. So, you should always make sure to purchase one that does have side airbags.
This is the most fatal collision a driver could face. This occurs when the front ends of two vehicles collide. Head-on collisions are less common compared to the other collisions on this list. They only make up 2% of all crashes but cause 10% of all driving fatalities. This is why you should always stay in your lane and be careful when overtaking other cars on a two-way road.
What do you do when you or a loved one get into one of these accidents?
When a person gets into a vehicle accident, a normal reaction would be to panic. Don’t. Or at least try not to. There is a standard procedure when it comes to these accidents. And you must know what it is so you can deal with these accidents smoothly.
- Two things you need to keep in mind. Never escape the scene of the crime, and never admit responsibility for the accident. Driving away will only make it worse on you, even if you believe the fault isn’t yours. It is your legal obligation to stop your car at the scene of the accident. And as harsh as it sounds, you can’t admit responsibility. If you want your insurance company to cover the crash, don’t admit responsibility and let them do the negotiating.
- Call the police to report the accident and if anyone is seriously injured and needs medical attention right away. Even if the accident is a minor one, you still need to call the police and report it.
- Don’t talk to the other party about what happened, only tell the police about the accident. But do get their name, address, contact number, car description, and vehicle identification number (not the license plate).
- Take pictures of the accident (from different angles) and the other party’s car. Try as much as possible to remember why you got into the accident. The direction you and the other car were driving in, what happened, if the weather or any outside factor may be the cause.
- Ask for the witnesses’ names and contact information as well. Together with the name, badge number, and contact information of the police handling the scene as well.
- After you’ve reported the accident to the police and gathered all the information you need call your insurance company and a car accident attorney.
Remember, these accidents can always be avoided. How? By always paying attention to the road and your surroundings. Never text and drive and never drive under the influence. At best, you only suffer financial loss. At worst, you lose a life. So always drive safely, for your sake and the sake of others.