Did you know? Car accidents tend to happen in the places that might feel the safest. Most car accidents happen within 25 miles of home, according to Enjuris. Studies show that car accidents don’t happen because drivers are unfamiliar with the roads, but because drivers are either careless or aren’t prepared for what happens on the roads. In other words, accidents happen because drivers aren’t paying enough attention to driving. Besides distraction, other factors that frequently contribute to accidents include fatigue, speeding, recklessness, environmental conditions, medical impairment, and intoxication. Keep reading to understand how the 4 most common types of car accidents usually happen and how you can avoid them.

Rear-end collisions

Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accidents. While rear-end collisions are often caused by the car in front of you unexpectedly decelerating, you can just as easily be the cause of the accident if you are tailgating. Rear-end collisions frequently result in whiplash or worse injuries.

Tips for avoiding a rear-end collision, according to Today’s Collision.

  • Leave more space between you and the car in front of you. This is the number one way to avoid rear-end collisions, because the more space, the more time you have to react to sudden braking and the more time you have to stop.
  • Check your mirrors often. You should be checking your mirrors every 6 seconds or so, as well as every time you stop or brake.
  • Focus on driving
  • Brake slowly.
  • Make sure your brake lights work.
  • Pay attention to the driving conditions.
  • Keep your view clear.

Side-impact collisions

Sometimes referred to as a “T-bone” crash, side-impact collisions happen when one car impacts the side of another vehicle. Side-impact collisions are frequently caused by one driver failing to stop when another vehicle has the right of way. Levels of damage can range from scratched bumpers to completely imploded car doors, depending on how fast the offending car was driving. Side-impact collisions are especially dangerous because the sides of vehicles have less space to absorb energy and shield passengers, according to Allstate.

Tips for avoiding a side-impact collision.

  • Follow the rules of the road
  • Look both ways for oncoming cars even when you have the right of way
  • Make sure to stop at red lights and stop signs.
  • Follow posted speed limits to make sure that you will have adequate time to stop for a changing light, according to Allstate.

Head-on collisions

Head-on collisions tend to be the most deadly type of car accidents, according to AARP. Usually happening at high speeds, frontal-impact accidents occur when the front-end of the car hits another object, such as another vehicle, animal, tree, or other obstruction or obstacle on the road. The probability of head-on collisions increases any time there are additional road hazards such as snow, rain, ice or fog, Head-on collisions often result in devastating injuries such as internal damage, concussions, and dislocations. Most head-on crashes result from a driver falling asleep, being distracted, traveling too fast in a curve, speeding, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to AARP.

Tips for avoiding a head-on collision

  • Drive only when you are alert and sober.
  • Use your seat belt.
  • Avoid, whenever possible, driving in challenging weather or road conditions.
  • Scan the road ahead for hazards. Anticipate where problems might occur.
  • Stay well centered in your lane. This helps you avoid oncoming cars that might stray into your lane, and also allows you to move to the shoulder or side of the road more quickly if needed. On multilane roads, the right lane is the safest.
  • Obey speed limits. A proper speed gives you more time to react, and decreases the risk of serious damages and injuries.
  • If an oncoming vehicle veers into your lane for any reason, slow down immediately and blow your horn. Be prepared to drive off the road or stop, according to

Multi-vehicle collisions

Sometimes called pile-ups, multi-vehicle collisions involve at least three vehicles, and often occur on busy roads such as highways. Because vehicles can collide with one another multiple times and at several angles, these collisions are often disastrous, with injuries ranging from whiplash to paralysis and even death.

Tips for avoiding a multi-vehicle collision

  • Avoid speeding.
  • Slow down if weather conditions create slippery roads.
  • Never tailgate, especially in slippery conditions.
  • Remember that trucks and SUVs take longer to stop.
  • Replace worn tires.
  • Never take your eyes off the road.
  • Avoid all distractions.

Safe driving habits can often help you avoid causing an accident, but can’t always keep you safe from being a victim. Were you injured in a car accident in San Diego that wasn’t your fault? Jeffrey E. Estes can help you get the compensation you deserve.