Motor Vehicle Accidents 101

As much as we try to avoid them as drivers, motor vehicle accidents happen every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they are the leading cause of death in the first three decades of Americans’ lives.

Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor accident

Motor vehicle accidents can be caused by many things, with distracted driving being at the top of the list. It’s a common misconception that texting is the only form of distracted driving, but truthfully, many things can require a driver to be distracted and cause an accident. Other common causes include:

Driving Drowsy

Not getting enough sleep before getting behind the wheel can be very dangerous and pose a higher risk of getting into an accident. When the body does not have adequate time for rest, it cannot stay alert and have proper reaction times to hazards on the road.

Driving While Impaired

When a driver is operating a motor vehicle while impaired, they lose their ability to be on the roads safely. Alcohol and drugs have a negative effect on motor skills, judgment, and reaction times, causing a driver to be more likely to crash.


Although we don’t always agree with the required speed limit, they are set in place to help keep drivers safe and reduce the chances of collisions. Speeding is considered reckless driving and can cause a severe delay in reaction times or may even result in the driver losing control of the vehicle.

Reckless Driving

Speeding isn’t the only form of reckless driving that can cause accidents. It may also include failing to yield, running stoplights or traffic signals, tailgating, racing, and a few other negligent driving actions. Not only does reckless driving put you at risk of injury or death, but it also offers the same threat to other drivers on the road.

Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents

Although there are various types of accidents, there are patterns to how they are caused. Here are a few of the most common types of accidents:

Head-on Collisions

These are among the most dangerous types of vehicle accidents a driver could be involved in. Due to both vehicles moving toward each other, the force of the impact is amplified a lot more than it would be if they collided differently. These accidents are significantly more likely to leave drives with severe injuries and sometimes even death.

Injuries from these types of accidents typically include:

  • Internal organ damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Broken or fractured bones

Rear-End Collisions

When a driver fails to pay attention to the road or is following another car too closely, rear-end collisions are likely to occur. Not maintaining a safe enough distance from another driver can impact the time and space needed to brake if traffic ahead abruptly stops adequately. These accidents are frequently a result of driving under the influence, or being tired or distracted. Victims of rear-end collisions are at risk of injuries such as:

  • Neck injuries
  • Damage to the spinal cord
  • Whiplash
  • Broken bones

Side-Impact Collisions

A driver failing to turn their head to check their blind spots before merging into a new lane is the most common cause of sideswipe collisions. These types of accidents happen when two or more vehicles are traveling parallel to each other, and one vehicle strikes the side of the other.

Unlike other types of accidents, these can be dangerous because the impact of the collision can cause one, if not both, vehicles to lose control and drift off-road or into other lanes of traffic. Injuries from side-impact collisions can be severe, especially when there is a secondary impact after the initial one. Common injuries are seen from these crashes may include:

  • Head injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Neck and spinal cord damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Contact a Lawyer

Contact a lawyer right away if you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence. You may be eligible for financial compensation, and our team at Dermer Appel Ruder, LLC, is determined to help you get the payout you deserve. We have decades of experience on our side and the confidence to fight cases just like yours.

Contact our office today at (404) 892-8884 or visit our website to schedule your free consultation with one of our award-winning attorneys.

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