Common Accident Vehicle Types
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By far the most common motor vehicle accident is one car hitting another. These can be as harmless as a parking lot fender bender, but also claim more lives annually than strokes, diabetes, or Alzheimer’s disease. Learn about common types of car accidents and what to do if you’ve been in one.
Due to the sheer size and weight of semi-trucks, coupled with the fact that most truck accidents tend to take place on highways where everyone is driving fast, truck accidents can be among the most damaging. As a result, commercial truck drivers need to meet special licensing requirements and carry additional insurance policies to drivers of standard cars.
Motorcycle drivers and their passengers are the most vulnerable motorists on the road. What would be a simple fender bender in a two car crash, can be deadly when there is a motorcycle involved. If the motorcyclist is lucky enough to survive the accident, the risk of serious and permanent injury is much greater than most other motor vehicle accidents.
While not technically a car accident, boating accidents are fairly common and fall under the same laws as do car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. In addition, due to the recreational nature of boating, there tend to be a higher percentage of boat accidents that involve drunk motorists.
Multi Vehicle Accident:
Sometimes known as a “x car pile up”, multi vehicle accidents typically occur when two cars collide, then stop or get pushed into other cars. On highways and busy roads, multi vehicle accidents can be deadly and cause thousands of dollars in property damage.
Public Transportation Accidents:
When someone is injured in an accident on a public bus, train, or subway, personal injury laws in that state apply. Sometimes the fault is on the driver of the bus or train, and others it’s another driver on the road who is responsible for the damages.
Bicycle Accident/Cyclist Hit By Car:
Similar to motorcycle accidents, cyclists are incredibly vulnerable and unprotected when they are hit by a car. Even with top of the line helmets and safety gear, with over 5000 deaths and 70,000 injuries to cyclists & pedestrians hit by cars, according to the CDC.
Uber is a leading ride-sharing app used by passengers nationwide to get from one point to another. Unfortunately, many passengers are injured while riding in an Uber and may not know about their legal rights to compensation for their injuries.
Passengers injured while taking a Lyft may have legal rights to compensation for their injuries. Learn more about your legal rights if you have been injured while riding in a Lyft.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
What’s the most common car involved in accidents?
According to a 2017 study, on a percentage basis, BMW makes the #1 and #2 cars on the list of cars most likely to be in an auto accident – the 4 series and X1, respectively.
Regarding the most likely to hurt or kill the passengers inside the car, a number of small model cars top the list – The Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Scion TC, Chevy Spark and Nissan Versa round out the top 5 on the list of deadliest cars per capita in America in a study performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
What type of cars are the least safe in a crash?
If you think that small cars are more dangerous in accidents, you are right. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the seven most unsafe models were classified as small cars or mini-cars. This data verifies the logical conclusion that smaller cars fare worst in serious crashes. But the data also shows a very large gap in fatalities between the smallest and largest vehicles on our roads.
IIHS date shows these small vehicles are the most dangerous on the roads today:
- Hyundai Accent
- Kia Rio
- Scion tC
- Chevrolet Spark
- Nissan Versa
- Ford Fiesta
- Kia Soul
The data shows that four door minicars had a rate fatality rate of 87 per million registered vehicle years, versus six for the lowest fatality category which was large luxury SUVs. That means minicars with four doors have a 15 times higher risk of fatalities. The seven worst vehicles listed above had more than 100 driver fatalities per million registered vehicle years.
Are truck accidents more common than car accidents?
A typical passenger vehicle weighs 3,000 pounds while pickup trucks tend to weigh well over 4,000 pounds. Accidents tend to happen in both types of vehicles in roughly the same amounts each year, but there are some differences.
First, as pickup trucks usually weigh more than cars, there may be fewer serious injuries with pickups simply because they are heavier.
However, it should be noted that pickup trucks usually have a higher center of gravity so they can tend to roll in an accident. Vehicles that are taller will always have a greater chance of rolling. Rollovers can lead to very serious and fatal accidents because there is a higher chance of an occupant being ejected from the vehicle.
Another common difference with pickup truck accidents is that many of them are used by companies to do various outdoor work. Generally speaking, pickup trucks are more likely to get into accidents with bikers and pedestrians.
Are motorcycle accidents more common than car accidents?
There is no question that motorcycles are much more dangerous than cars. Motorcycles are only 3% of the registered vehicles in the country, but they account for a large chunk of serious and fatal accident injuries. Motorcycles are much more likely to be involved in fatal crashes. A higher percentage of motorcycle accidents are caused by drunk driving, too.
The NHTSA reports that 13 cars out of 100,000 are in fatal crashes, while 72 motorcycles out of 100,000 are involved in fatal accidents. Also, for every mile traveled, motorcyclists have a risk of a fatal crash that is 35 times higher than a car driver. In 2004, there were 37,000 people killed in car accidents and 4,000 killed in motorcycle accidents. But remember that motorcycles are only 3% of registered vehicles on the roads.
Distracted driving is the most common cause of car accidents, with the National Safety Council stating that 25% of car accidents involve cell phone use. The most common cause of motorcycle accidents is cars making a left hand turn without giving right of way. About 42% of all car accidents involving a motorcycle are due to a car turning left. Lane splitting is also a common cause of motorcycle accidents. This practice is not legal in all states; you should check the laws in yours.
Are boating accidents considered motor vehicle accidents (MVA) in legal terms?
In legal terms, boating accidents are considered the same as motor vehicle accidents in most states. Even though boats are on the water, many of the things that lead to deaths on the roads occur with boats as well. The US Coast Guard reported in 2013 that the most common cause of death in boating accidents was simply inattention. The most common cause of driver deaths on the road is distracted driving. On the water, there may be a tendency to think there is no need to watch as closely as on the roads; after all, there is much more space typically between boats on the open water compared to cars on the road. But boats can close rapidly on one another, and hitting immobile objects with a boat is also very common.
Another very common cause of boating and car accidents is drinking. Drinking and boating is treated the same as drinking and driving. You can receive the same punishments on the water as on the road. And if you injure or kill someone due to drinking alcohol in a boat, you can do jail time and also be sued.
As with most car accidents with damages and injury, you are required to file an accident report for any accident in a boat where there was an injury, death or property damage.
Can a pedestrian sue a driver if they’re hit by a car?
In 2006, more than 60,000 pedestrians were hurt in car accidents. Hitting a pedestrian at more than 30 miles per hour can cause fatal injuries, but it also is possible to severely injure a pedestrian traveling at only 10 miles per hour.
If the driver is at least partially responsible for the accident with the pedestrian, he or she can be sued in most states. If the pedestrian was partially responsible for the crash, they still can file a personal injury lawsuit and recover damages in most states. However, some states will reduce the amount of the award the pedestrian can recover based upon their degree of fault for the crash.
Can a passenger in a car accident sue the driver of the car they were in?
In short, yes. You as a passenger in the vehicle have the same right to sue for your injuries as the driver. But as the passenger, you cannot be found at fault for the accident. This situation can result in some uncomfortable negotiations; if the driver of the vehicle in which the passenger was riding caused the crash, the passenger may file a lawsuit against their own friend or relative in most states. But you should remember that usually any settlement or pay out will come from the driver’s insurance policy and not from their own funds.
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