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What types of collisions are typically the deadliest?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2024 | car accidents |

There is a nearly infinite assortment of different types of crashes that can occur in traffic. Certain types of collisions tend to be more serious than others. Collisions involving motor vehicles and pedestrians, for example, frequently lead to tragedy. Crashes involving a passenger vehicle and a semi-truck could also have dire implications for the occupants of the smaller vehicle.

When looking at standard traffic collisions involving two passenger vehicles, there are many different types of collisions possible. According to federal collision statistics, one type of collision is more likely to lead to fatal outcomes than other types of crashes.

What are the four main types of collisions possible?

When analyzing collisions, safety experts typically group them into four distinct categories. There are head-on collisions involving a full-frontal crash. Angle collisions involve one vehicle striking the side of another vehicle in traffic. Rear-end collisions are also relatively common and occur when one driver collides with the rear end of another vehicle. Side swipes occur when vehicles crash into each other but do not necessarily make direct impact or come to a complete stop during the collision.

People often think of head-on collisions as the most dangerous, but that belief doesn’t align with current traffic data. The National Safety Council provides an eye-opening analysis of what types of crashes resulted in deaths. Only 29.6% of deaths occurred because of head-on collisions. That’s more than the 17.3% of traffic deaths caused by rear-end collisions or the scant 8.2% attributed to sideswipe collisions. The deadliest type of crash is an angle collision. Angle collisions caused 44.9% of reported traffic fatalities in 2022.

Safety systems, in part, are responsible for the number of side impact fatalities. Many manufacturers have invested heavily in systems intended to reduce the risk of a head-on collision. However, side impact airbags and similar safety features are neither mandatory nor standard in most modern vehicles. Therefore, crashes that occur when one vehicle turns in front of another can be particularly dangerous. Additionally, there are often numerous crashes that result in injury for every one collision that causes a fatality.

Understanding motor vehicle collision trends can be beneficial for those who want to optimize their safety in traffic. Regardless of the type of crash that occurs, motorists sometimes need to file insurance claims or take another driver to court because of the costs associated with the aftermath of a wreck.


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