The 5 types of car crashes that are the most dangerous!
Nearly, 86% of all motorists fear that they well be killed or grievously hurt in a crash involving another vehicle. Fear aside, it is truly impossible to be prepared for any of the various types of car crashes or the injuries that the accident may cause.
While not all car accidents are serious, when two objects collide, each weighing well over a ton and travelling at least 20 mph, the force generated by the impact is strong enough to cause great bodily harm.
With that said, some types of collisions are more dangerous than others in terms of both loss of life and severity of injuries. Understanding the dynamics of different types of car crashes can help you incorporate defensive driving techniques and better protect yourself and the other vehicle occupants. Continue reading to learn about the top 5 most dangerous types of car crashes.
The head-on collision/frontal impact
In 2017, nearly 1,000 head-on collisions involving more than one vehicle were reported in Kansas. This was a mere 2.5% of the 40,000 accidents that occurred throughout the year. Yet nationwide, head on collisions account for well over half of all auto accident fatalities.
In Kansas, these 1,000 crashes led to over 100 fatalities. Recently, a Kansas lawmaker and 3 other people, including the driver of the other vehicle involved were killed in a frontal impact crash.
The danger: What makes head-on collisions so catastrophic is the sheer force generated by the impact. For instance, even at 20 mph, with seat belts on, the front row occupants would feel that they were hit by a mass of 1.5 ton (1,500 kg). Without seatbelts, the impact would be equivalent to that of being hit by a mass of 7.6 tons (7,600 kg).
Whether a motorist going at 20 mph crashes into a wall, pole or another car, the force of the impact, even with air bag deployment and the use of fasteners, can be deadly.
The injuries: Head-on collisions commonly lead to life threatening and debilitating physical trauma that includes brain injury, spinal injuries, backbone fracture, back injuries, rib facture and chest injuries, facial fractures, lacerations, cuts and burn injuries, whiplash, loss of limb and internal organ damage.
The causes: Most frontal impact collisions occur when the driver of one vehicle crosses the center line of the lane and veers into the path of oncoming traffic. A lot of factors can be implicated in such mishaps but usually, driver distraction, impaired driving, speeding and loss of control due to speeding are among the most common causes of head-on collisions.
These accidents account for a mere 2.7% of all crashes on Kansas roads, yet they lead to more than 10% of all auto accident related fatalities. In 2017, more than 150 people were killed and well over 2,400 were injured in such car crashes.
The fatality rate from roll-over accidents is the highest for SUVs at almost 55%, followed by pickup trucks (47%) and vans (30%). The most likely cause for the higher roll-over rate is that these vehicles are taller and narrower than other types of cars, which puts their center of gravity at a higher level, making them less stable in the event of a single or multi-vehicle crash.
Another big problem is the very real risk of the motorists being ejected from the vehicle in case of a roll-over. In fact, very few drivers survive the combination of a vehicle overturn and ejection.
The danger: Surprisingly, the actual delta force (crash force) experienced by the motorists and the passengers is not as much as that felt in a head-on collision. But when a vehicle overturns, it may roll over several times, which means that the body is subjected to extremely high G-forces coming from different directions and multiple episodes of this impact.
The injuries: Often the roof of the vehicle will give way causing life threatening skull, brain and spinal injuries even if the automobile only rolls over once. Vehicle overturn accidents frequently cause limb and rib fractures, deep lacerations, facial injuries and scarring.
The causes: Over 80% of all roll-over accidents are single-vehicle crashes and almost 90% of them occur during normal driving maneuvers. Speeding, poor road and weather conditions, and impaired driving are the top factors that lead to faulty maneuvers or errors in judgment that eventually cause the vehicle to roll over.
T-bone/side impact collision
Also known as broad-side collisions, these accidents involve one vehicle crashing perpendicularly into another automobile that is either stationary or moving at right angle to the direction of the impact-making vehicle. Almost 12,500 side impact collisions were reported in Kansas in 2017. T-bone crashes are very common and very dangerous.
The danger: The problem is that there is very little protection or cushioning on the sides of a vehicle. The front and the rear end of a car have crumple zones and bumper systems that are designed to absorb the force of the impact.
In contrast, on the side of the vehicle, the car door is relatively flimsy, providing very little protection. Plus, the car that strikes in a T-bone collision, does so with its bumper. For the striking vehicle then, a large part of the impact is absorbed by the front-end protection features, while the occupants of the struck vehicle have to the bear the complete force of the impact. Even at a modest speed of 25 mph (striking vehicle), the occupants inside the impacted car can be subjected to forces as high as 210 kN, which would feel like being struck by a 20 ton object.
The injuries: It goes without saying that the risk for the most serious injuries is the highest for the occupants on the side of the impacted vehicle. Severe neck, head and thoracic trauma along with pelvic and abdomen injuries and significant facial trauma are common in T-bone collisions. This explains why side-impact crashes account for nearly 30% of all auto accident deaths in the country.
The causes: Common factors that lead to side impact collisions include distracted driving, running a red light, rolling through stop signs, impaired driving, and reckless and aggressive driving. In rare cases, T-bone collisions also result from mechanical failure and inclement weather.
Very rare but also very dangerous, multiple car pile-ups lead to nearly one half of all auto accident fatalities across the country. In 2017, almost 250 people lost their lives in such crashes in Kansas alone.
The danger: Because multiple vehicles are involved, the impact can come from different directions and several times. The worst part is that these accidents can often be hard to avoid, and frequently, several motorists are left to bear the brunt of the actions of one or two negligent drivers.
The injuries: Because the impact force comes from all directions and in varying intensities in case of multivehicle pile-ups, it is hard to anticipate the extent or even type of injuries that can be sustained in such crashes. While some motorists walk away dazed but with just minor cuts and bruises, others succumb to their severe injuries even before medical help gets to them.
The causes: Multivehicle pile-ups are common in bad weather and poor road conditions and at peak traffic hours when everybody is in a rush and distracted, more prone to making bad decisions.
These are the most common type of vehicle accidents, with nearly 14,000 of them reported in Kansas in 2017. Because the impact is at the rear-end of the vehicle, these crashes rarely lead to fatalities unless it’s a multi-vehicle pile-up or a high-speed crash. However, there is a big risk for injuries, particularly neck, spine and head injuries that can cause chronic problems from whiplash and concussions.
The danger: In terms of impact force, it all depends on the speed of the striking vehicle. However, the force experienced by the occupants of the impacted vehicle can be more or less depending on whether this car was stationary or in motion. In both cases, the occupants are forcefully thrown forward and then backwards and while the upper torso gets a significant amount of protection from the seatbelts, the neck and the head are on their own.
The injuries: This explains why instances of mild traumatic brain injury and soft tissue and nerve damage in the neck are very common in such accidents. The risk quotient of rear-end accidents quickly increases when you add speed, a large/heavy impact vehicle or multiple vehicles to the equation.
The causes: Most rear-end crashes are caused by following too closely, speeding, distracted driving and misjudging the braking distance.
Automobile accidents can cause different types and forms of injuries. While some are more serious than others, it’s often hard to tell just how far reaching the repercussions of such injuries will be. Often accident injuries can have life-altering ramifications.
If you have been in any of these types of car crashes and you’ve been left grappling with lost wages and medical bills then contact us today! Our team of attorneys have decades of collective experience in handling personal injury claims. We will put your interests first and make sure that you get the restitution you so badly need and are entitled to.